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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One less reading day on schedule this year

This semester, students are experiencing a change in their study habits brought on by the university. 
This finals season, there is one less reading day, giving students less time to prepare for their exams.
Venesa Heidick, registrar for Texas A&M, said the loss of one reading day is to make way for more time for another important event this semester — graduation.
“Basically, there was a third day added to the graduation and commencement ceremony,” Heidick said. “In order to accommodate for those ceremonies, one of the reading days was removed.”
Heidick said the decision was made by the university leadership, not solely by the Office of the Registrar, and that the matter was brought up prior to this semester.
“Last year, interim President [Mark] Hussey put together a group to examine the growing graduating class,” Heidick said. “[Hussey] referred to them as a Graduation Task Force, and the decision was part of the recommendation by that group.”
The fact that many students face multiple finals this semester can bring on its own issues, and the subtracted reading day plays a factor, said Gregory Ormes, assistant professor of communication.
“The final exam schedule is random,” Ormes said. “And what reading days did was provide a buffer for students to prepare for the multiple exams they may have on one day. Eliminating that day takes away the fairness from the students, giving them less time to prepare.”
Although the change solely affects students, the faculty is concerned with how students will handle the stress that comes with this round of tests, Ormes said
“I have a high degree of confidence in my students, but what will be affected is psychological,” Ormes said. “It’s the stress — students can handle the burden which is the stress that comes with finals, but the taking away of one reading day only makes that load heavier.”

Nicholas Page, student senator and author of the Preparation Day Bill requesting there be two reading days, said after speaking to his constituents from the engineering college he didn’t feel one preparation day was enough.
“A lot of us have multiple projects being due on exam days in addition to exams and one day just doesn’t do it justice,” Page said. “We’ve had in student rules, it outlines that we are supposed to have two days to prepare and I think even as a point of principle to follow the published student rules, it’s a big deal because that’s what was agreed upon and I feel like that’s how it should be taken care of because if they stop following rules in one area, who’s to say they’re not going to do it with something else.”
Page said the senate is working to bring these concerns to the attention of the people who have the power to change the academic calendar.

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