Examining the exams

One division of our University’s professors feel that they have the authority to go beyond the hours allotted to them by the Registrar.Professors in the sciences have consistently shown contempt for their student’s time and responsibilities by scheduling exams outside of their allotted class schedules.College is a busy time, students’ responsibilities begin to pile up and schedules become hectic and packed quickly.Thankfully, our University does its utmost to help students keep their schedules consistent with class times planned months in advance and strictly upheld.It is an unfortunate deviation from stated University policy that many of our science professors feel that they may impinge upon their students’ rights to be informed of all class meeting times when they sign up for a class, not months later when courses are filled and the semester has started.Students at this University come with richly diverse responsibilities and circumstances. Our University plays host to commuting students, students working to pay their way through, students with family obligations and students with myriad other circumstances and responsibilities.We need to respect these students and provide them with every opportunity that their peers are provided. This is not happening in many of our science courses.The University catalogue outlines the policy concerning faculty members’ rights and responsibilities concerning scheduling of exams quite clearly. “These [examinations] are scheduled by the faculty member within the class periods assigned for the class.”The only instance in which the catalogue does allow for ‘common hour’ exams to be held is in the case of “a course which has several sections meeting at different hours.” This is not the case with the vast majority of our University’s science courses, which meet as a group regularly. So, why does a faction of our University’s professors feel that they are above the stated University policy? We, unfortunately, cannot answer this question.What the students need is a standard that is not overlooked. If a class needs more time than your average three credits, then it needs to advertise itself as such — there should never be surprises about extra classtime requirements.If this means expanded course descriptions, so be it — frankly, we feel there is far too little information listed during the pre-registration period anyway. If this means re-thinking the way classes are planned, so be it.