Saturday study sorrows

The Cynic hopes you don’t have plans to relax on Saturday, Dec. 11, because, like us, you will probably have to cancel them to take a final exam. This year, the final exam schedule has been changed so that exams fall on a Saturday — a day students used to have as a reading day. The reasoning for the Faculty Senate decision was that, because of the weeklong Thanksgiving break and students’ desire to have a reading day between the last day of class and exams, the extra days off had to be made up somewhere. So the Saturday exam was born. While many students cringe, there are distinct benefits to this schedule change. Having a reading day before the start of exam week is going to be a relief for students this year. In past years, madly studying while trying to finish off your last day of classes had always been a tedious balance. The weeklong Thanksgiving break is also a much needed break when students are beginning to feel burnt out and frustrated. Many other universities use Saturdays as exam days as well. However, working on a Friday night and taking exams on a Saturday, a day in which students usually are able to relax and take a breath before the final five-day push, is going to give students even more unnecessary stress. Lowering the stress levels during exam week should be a priority for the University, since less stress would lead to better performance by students and better health and well-being overall. Also, for Jewish students, Saturdays are Sabbath days. This means that these students cannot take their exams on a Saturday for religious reasons. While the University is allowing students to reschedule their Saturday exams for religious reasons, this puts an extra burden on professors and students. There is a way for the benefits of the Saturday exam to be kept without the negative costs. Moving up the start of school by a couple of days would have eliminated these problems. This solution is not without its burdens. Moving up the school year will potentially receive backlash from students — The Cynic staff knows that we do not want to cut our summer short. Even so, students will need to decide what would be better overall. Do you want a break during the school year or a few days skimmed off of the summer? Make your decision, and let the SGA know what you want. If we don’t make our own decision, we might be stuck with a situation in which the costs outweigh the benefits.