April 20, 2011

SLC aims for reducing student stress levels

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.

Charlie Megenity
Charlie Megenity (formerly Gorney) is a senior double majoring in political science and economics. He previously served TKS as managing editor and as co-news editor while working as the weekend reporter for The Galesburg Register-Mail. Over the summer of 2012, Charlie interned in Wisconsin with Patch.com, an online hyperlocal news source, where he covered the August 2012 Oak Creek Sikh temple shooting; he will return to Patch during the summer of 2013. He is also the journalism editor for Catch magazine.. Charlie has received three awards from the Illinois College Press Association for newswriting and design, including a first place award for front page layout. He was the 2013 recipient of the Theodore Hazen Kimble Memorial Award in Journalism for a feature story published in The Knox Student. His work has also appeared in The Huffington Post.

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