Laurier exams pushed to end Dec. 23

After beginning classes on September 10, students will be in class until December 9 and have two study days before beginning exams.

Graphic by Lena Yang
Graphic by Lena Yang

This semester, students at Wilfrid Laurier University can expect a late exam period, which will run from December 12 to the 23. After beginning classes on September 10, students will be in class until December 9 and have two study days before beginning exams.

“The reason it’s this late is because we’ve implemented and introduced the fall study break,” said Jennifer Casey, assistant vice-president of enrollment services and registrar.

In accordance to Senate guidelines, each term must have 60 academic days and two exam study days. To account for the four academic days lost to reading week in October and a late start in the calendar year, the exam period has been pushed to December 12.

“Because it’s so important that we’ve got these guidelines of the 60 teaching days and the two study days and with the implementation of the fall reading week, it pushes everything and the classes start the Thursday after Labour Day,” Casey explained.

“It’s really pushed everything forward.”

For students writing exams on Dec. 23, results will not become available until early January in 2016. This will exempt professors from having to provide a grade within a 96-hour span.

“From the 24th until the 3rd [of January] , the university is actually closed. So that 96-hour rule really can’t occur during that timeframe because [professors] can submit the exam but the exam results, the university is closed so it’s not like we’re receiving [exam results].”

To make up for this, the registrar is reaching out to staff and faculty to be diligent with their marking once the holiday season passes.

“For those exams that are written on the 23, we’ll be appealing to the faculty members from those exams that that first week of January as much as possible that they’re able to get those grades into enrolment services … while there is the 96-hour rule we’re going to work alongside faculty to find the best solution with them as well,” Casey explained.

The notion to implement a fall reading week was approved by Senate in November 2013.

“When [exam dates] were approved last September there weren’t any objection to that, they were approved, I mean as much as possible in settling the exams,” said Casey.

In addition to students potentially having exams until the 23, students will also only have until January 3 for a holiday break before winter term begins on January 4 — approximately 11 days.

“It’s inconvenient, understandable but inconvenient. I can feel a lot of people being upset by it because of how unideal the situation is for students and their family,” said Brigitte Kloss, a third-year environmental studies student.

There will be opportunities for students to voice their opinions about the fall reading week, which is currently in its second year of a three-year pilot project.

“There’s going to be a pre and post-fall reading week surveys done to assess student satisfaction and what are the issues … [which] will help guide the future decisions that are made as to whether this becomes a permanent scheduling piece for Laurier,” Casey continued.

“The bottom line is we’re all here for student success and enrolment services very much supports student success.”

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