The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Yay or nay – Finals Week of Instruction

With the new schedule changes last fall semester, St. John’s offered a Finals Week of Instruction rather than the regular format of a Finals Week. Last semester, students took their finals as well as attending classes in the same week, bringing chaos not only for students, but also for the professors required to grade finals and teach simultaneously.

The University posted a poll on St. John’s Central asking the students’ opinions concerning changing the format of Finals Week. If the University does make these changes, five minutes will be added to most class meetings to meet the New York State Education

Department requirements.

“I wouldn’t say I approved of the new schedule, as much as I just had to force myself to adjust,” said sophomore, Yenessi Silie concerning the schedule changes. “I still believe that last year’s schedule structure was more conducive to my learning experience.”

Since the schedule changes were put into effect last semester, St. John’s has implemented twice a week 80 minute classes and three hour classes on Wednesdays. Many students seem to be adjusting to the new schedule and are surprised that they

like the new routine.

However, specifically for language classes, professors found difficulty in teaching twice a week instead of three times a week as language classes were offered in the past.

 “I’ve lived forty years with this old schedule so adjusting to the new way is difficult,” said Dr. Robert Forman. “I can live with it, but I wouldn’t mind them going back to the old schedule.”

Students who had multiple finals on the same day felt pressure attending class and studying at the same time. Lauren Smyth is a sophomore who had four finals on the same day and was unable to switch any of her tests to another day.

 “I had no time to study at all,” said Smyth. “Everything was rushed and thrown at me and I know a lot

of people felt that way.”

Even Silie complained that because of the Finals Week of Instruction, she lost some valuable study time.

“I wasn’t a fan of the way finals week of instruction was set up. Having to go to classes while finals were going on cut into and in fact wasted much of my study time,” said Silie.

Even professors found flaws with the Finals Week of Instruction because they were instructing as well as grading papers and finals simultaneously.

“I think most students as well as professors find this burdensome,”

said Dr. Forman.

Most students agree that a change in the structure of finals week is necessary because it specifically affects

their grades.

“I know people whose grades were affected. A lot of people had to focus on other classes and juggling a lot of other things at once,” said Smyth.

Even Rubin agreed that she liked the old format of finals week because it allowed for a full week dedicated

to studying.    

“The finals week was very beneficial because there was a longer amount of study time. People would have done a lot better especially in chemistry and biology because there’s so much material to study and not enough time,” said Rubin.

However professors say that they must consider the stress during finals week as a natural part of the equation and an approach towards the end of the semester. Professor Jeremiah Hickey believes that students and professors can easily adjust to the structure of a Finals

Week of Instruction.

“While almost all professors lost a lot of sleep at the end of the semester, we professors know that this will be the case and must adjust our teaching, family, research, and grading time accordingly,” said Professor Hickey.

Specifically with the new poll on St. John’s Central, students are eager to see the administration make changes concerning the Finals Week of Instruction. However Silie stays cynical to the university changing their plans.

“I’d like to think that they’ll take our opinions into account and do what they know they should and change this, but unfortunately, it’s hard to say,” said Silie.

Smyth, on the other hand  stays optimistic

to change.

“Just because we have this new schedule doesn’t mean we can’t make

a couple changes.”

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