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Faculty questions Dead Day

Written by Jennifer Gleason


Faculty Senate met last Thursday, and discussed getting rid of Dead Day–the 24 hours before final exams that students use to study and relax.

When Dr. Maren Clegg-Hyer wrote a letter to the Faculty Senate, she noted that faculty rarely gets to attend the graduation ceremonies for their students because they spend their entire weekend after final exams trying to finish grading before their Monday deadlines.

The letter, in full, was added to the Faculty Senate’s agenda for its Thursday meeting.

“The nature of assessment in [the] English [department] means that we all have anywhere from 120-200 lengthy, final essay exams to read between our last finals (usually late Friday night) and the grade deadline (9 a.m.) on Monday morning,” Dr. Clegg-Hyer said. “Frankly, most of us are lucky to even eat or sleep those three days; even two hours might make me miss Monday’s deadline. We consider it our ‘gauntlet.’”

Dr. Clegg-Hyer cited two possible solutions: changing the final exam schedule or moving the grading deadline for faculty.

In response to Dr. Clegg-Hyer’s letter, the Faculty Senate considered the possibility of getting rid of Dead Day altogether and moving final exams to earlier in the week.

Fortunately, the meeting did not reflect any possible changes to Dead Day–the senate refused to consider taking the day away from the campus community.

Dead Day works for students in several ways; it is 24 hours allotted to students to study, catch up on sleep and relax before final exams.

While some students use it constructively and study until they are practically blind, other students use that time to meditate, binge on junk food and sleep after a well-needed cry from the semester that is soon to come to an end.

We have all had that one class that has taken everything out of us and made us break out into hives when the final exam was near.

Dead Day is our chance to reflect on the semester and study–cram for some–for that final test that proves we didn’t stay in the class past midterms for nothing.

We applaud the Faculty Senate for recognizing the importance of Dead Day and not considering rearranging the schedule against the students’ best interest.

If we had to guess, faculty and staff enjoy the day away from students as well–a dead campus is a peaceful campus (as long as faculty and staff stay away from the library during that Tuesday.)

We would like to know why that last class on the Monday before exams is necessary. We only have a third to half of our entire schedule on that day, anyway.

Should concerns about the final exam schedule arise in the future, we beg the Faculty Senate to please leave Dead Day out of the discussion–unless the senate considers moving Dead Day from Tuesday to Monday.

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