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Shorten O-week & add a 'study day' before fall exams?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

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Written by Derek Pieper

Shorten O-week & add a 'study day' before fall exams?

A proposal has been put forward by the university to change the schedule of dates. If approved, the proposed changes will be implemented for the Fall 2008 semester. The proposal suggested by the university would include the following changes:

1) Orientation week would be shortened

2) The residence 'move-in day' would be moved from the Sunday before Labour Day to the Saturday before Labour day

3) Normal classes for all students would start on the Thursday of the Labour Day week (we currently start on the Monday following)

4) The last week of classes before fall semester final exams would include a day (Thursday) to make up for classes missed by the Thanksgiving holiday

5) The last Friday before fall semester final exams would be a 'study day' (no classes scheduled)

This proposal has been discussed at the Board of Undergraduate Studies (BUGS, a Senate committee with student, faculty, and administration representatives). At the May 16, 2007 BUGS meeting several student representatives participated in the meeting to voice their concerns about a number of issues arising from the proposed changes.

Some student representatives felt strongly that orientation week should not be shortened because of the transition benefit that it provides to incoming students.

Other students expressed concern that upper year students will have to arrive on campus earlier to attend classes that are typically a waste of time ('here is your course outline, have a nice day'). The proposed changes would also result in a reduced number of days for students to earn money before the semester starts.

Other students have expressed support for the proposed change because of the stressful end of semester 'crunch' that students with exams early in the exam schedule face.

What do you think about the proposed changes? Should student representatives on Senate support these changes?

The University of Guelph Senate will vote on this proposal at the October 2nd, 2007 meeting. If you would like to attend Senate to voice your opinion please get in contact with the CSA Academic Commissioner at 519-824-4120, ex.56742 or email

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  1. Posted by: Petra Simpson on Aug 22, 2007 @ 5:49pm

    Its tough for students such as myself who need to work their own way through univeristy, that last week i will be making at least one month's rent, i can't really afford to lose that, as i am sure that many other students can't either!

  2. Posted by: Dan on Aug 22, 2007 @ 9:13pm

    nah, thats a retarded idea.

  3. Posted by: Alex on Aug 22, 2007 @ 11:20pm

    I'm at Guelph to get the best education and marks I can get. If I'm able to get an additional day before exams to study, then I'd be more than happy to take it. Come on folks, coming to university is going to be a financial strain, we know this coming in, but it seems you'd rather have less time to study if you can make a few extra dollars.

    I'm not sure who these upper year students who think the first few classes are a "waste of time"...I suppose these might be the same that consider all lectures a "waste of time". If you want to get more out of those classes then ask questions during class, talk to the professor or TA after class. Not everything you can get from a lecture is necessarily spoon fed to you.

    I also think Orientation Week is long enough as it is. How much "transition" do first years really need? Eventually they're going to have to suck it up and step into their first class. However, looking back the week long booze fest was a nice start to residence life...

  4. Posted by: on Aug 22, 2007 @ 11:38pm

    1) Orientation week would be shortened
    Deal, a week long booze fest or an extra 5-10% from extra studying on my final?
    Considering other schools don't have frosh week for a week, we can cut back. The other Alex is right, first years need to step into the real world, and quite frankly it's not that scary in first year.

    2) The residence 'move-in day' would be moved from the Sunday before Labour Day to the Saturday before Labour day

    Sure why not, I'm always in Guelph early anyway.

    3) Normal classes for all students would start on the Thursday of the Labour Day week (we currently start on the Monday following)

    Every other school does it, so no big deal.

    4) The last week of classes before fall semester final exams would include a day (Thursday) to make up for classes missed by the Thanksgiving holiday

    Meh, mostly a Lab TA bitch and moan thing since they lose a day, I could take it or leave it.

  5. Posted by: Alex on Aug 22, 2007 @ 11:38pm

    5) The last Friday before fall semester final exams would be a 'study day' (no classes scheduled)

    Replace last friday with last week before fall semester final exams and then we're talking. One day isn't going to do much when I'm already going to skip that day anyway.

    Unlike the other Alex, yeah the first class is a bloody waste of time. Make the professor do their damn job, if I'm to drag my ass to their class they should at least teach, not "here's your course outline, bye" as they go back to their research labs.

    Other then that I'm impressed, I like the suggestions thus far. Especially someone like me who has 9 hours of lab a week, I could definitely use any extra time between class and finals.

  6. Posted by: Jammin' on Aug 23, 2007 @ 1:08pm

    I think what Alex (the first one) was trying to say about the first day of class is that you have to get more out of it than the professor or TA gives you up front. Take it as an opportunity to meet the professor and TA. I know it sounds dumb, but I do it and it's super helpful when trying to apply to graduate and professional schools and you can have them as references...trust me!

    I'm sure some people would use the extra day as more procrastination, but again, they probably use everyday throughout a semester to procrastinate. Old habits never change. I know I would use that extra day to get things together.

    I find it funny how people here aren't really trying to defend the need to have a week-long Orientation Week. Like, how many $1 pancakes and hamburgers can you eat that week? I say, get the classes started!

  7. Posted by: on Aug 23, 2007 @ 2:16pm

    I wish I could meet the professor, often they don't show up or are the first people to leave the classroom, but I see your point.

    I have a question, how much do we save by cutting down frosh week from a week to about 3-4 days?

  8. Posted by: Jammin' on Aug 23, 2007 @ 2:50pm

    I don't think we would necessarily save anything. As it is, we don't pay a dedicated "frosh week fee". I guess the expenses for frosh week come from our other student fees. If it were cut short, I guess that money would be used elsewhere.

  9. Posted by: on Aug 23, 2007 @ 9:45pm

    Well that's what I mean, the redirected funds.

  10. Posted by: Nick on Sep 4, 2007 @ 4:32pm

    The money would most deffinitly be redirected to other initiatives for the students.

    As far as shortening O-week, I think that people could benifit from an extra day of studying before exams. And yea, en extra day at thankgiving would be nice for those students who live farther away and want to go home.
    But I don't know. I liked having the whole week to get myself settled into residence and the university. I think that saying that first year isn't scary is misrepresenting a lot of students. Just because you didn't find first year "scary" doesn't mean that there aren't students who find it harder to get settled when their whole life might have just changed.
    There are students that, well I'm sure just drink all of o-week away, but their are others who benifit greatly from that time to get used to the school, and they don't drink the week away.

  11. Posted by: Alex on Sep 14, 2007 @ 8:25am

    what it comes down to for myself is if school starts on the thursday.. i'll likely lose 2-4 days of work where I could make a significant amount of money to pay for a month of rent/a semesters worth of food or textbooks/or spending money for the entire semester.

    I understand the logic behind the extra day at Thanksgiving for those living far away but why bother with an extra study day at the end of the semester? one extra day really won't make much of a difference.

  12. Posted by: on Sep 24, 2007 @ 5:57pm

    If anybody is interested in attending Senate on TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2 at 6:30pm...please be in touch and I'll make sure you can attend and have your opinion heard.

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