The Student Life Committee (SLC) considered Thursday during its regular meeting the possibility of changing the academic schedule to reduce student stress, as part of SLC’s ongoing conversation about the academic culture at Knox.
Professor of Mathematics and SLC chair Dennis Schneider brought up his proposed schedule, which would include two reading days before finals and four days for finals. It was discussed during the most recent Executive Committee meeting.
Schneider asked the committee members for their thoughts on the issue and whether they would want to draft a SLC recommendation to the faculty.
It was acknowledged that this issue is related to the proposal by Professor of Psychology Tim Kasser, who wants to decrease the number of credits required for graduation in order to decrease student and teacher stress. This is simply a different way to approach the issue.
It was agreed that a new calendar should include an increase in reading days, either in the middle of the term or before finals (or both).
Associate Director of Campus Life Kathleen Drake expressed the concern that an extra day would simply be used as a day to party instead of to catch up on work. She wanted to look into how students would use that extra reading day.
Professor of Art Lynette Lombard countered that it does not matter how the day off would be used, as long as it is a day off.
“In winter term, we really ought to have a day off,” Lombard said. “However you use it, it’s restorative.”
Dean of Students Debbie Southern added that as a solution, the Campus Life office could simply not allow registered parties on reading days.
Ultimately, it was decided that Student Senate would discuss the issue during its meeting this week and that senior Chris Bugajski will report back to SLC.
Next week’s SLC meeting is expected to entail a continuation of this conversation, along with a primer about revising the social event policy, which Associate Dean of Students Craig Southern has described as “archaic.” The committee will also consider the Knox’s National Survey of Student Engagement data.
No action was taken during the meeting.