Student members of the Committee on Undergraduate Education who had proposed holding final exams on Sunday afternoons withdrew the proposal at a faculty council meeting earlier this week.
The student members had offered the proposal as part of an effort to ensure a seven-day intersession.
According to John Paul Rollert '00, former chair of the Undergraduate Council's Student Affairs Committee, Sunday afternoon exams would have been needed "a couple years in the next decade."
But Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education Jeffrey Wolcowitz said the proposal was withdrawn "reluctantly" due to religious objections.
"There was concern raised both about religious activities and asking to have their exams rescheduled and a sense that there should be a day of the week" when there are no official University activities, Wolcowitz said.
But Rollert said he believed religious objections could have been handled in other ways.
"Because students who feel strongly are allowed to take their exams on days other than their day of observance," Rollert wrote in an e-mail message, "it seemed to us that asking Christian students to accept that exams may be given on a Sunday afternoon was more than fair."
According to Rollert, the committee members--five Faculty members and five students--supported the provision for Sunday afternoon exams unanimously.
But he said he feared the proposal would have sparked a "large religious controversy" if it were brought before the entire Faculty, who would have needed to approve the proposal before it was put into effect.
According to Wolcowitz, the next eight academic calendars assure an intersession of at least six days.
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