Knox students could soon lose one of two reading days allotted for studying at the end of the term if Professor of Physics and Registrar Chuck Schulz’s modifications to the academic calendar year are approved, a change which would commence with the 2016-2017 school year.
This would counter the addition of a second reading day implemented two years ago.
“That extra reading day puts a sort of crunch on the time during break,” said Schulz, explaining that to continue with the nine week and two day terms, there must be a buffer. This would either come from breaks, mainly spring break, or from the scaling back of the reading days.
Keeping Commencement on the first weekend in June is a large factor ruling the consideration.
While putting together a mock 2016-2017 calendar Schulz “noticed that commencement weekend comes really early in June, and there is no way to do it without shortening spring break.”
Without an alteration to the current calendar, the 2017 commencement would be pushed to the second weekend in June, a scenario Schulz is trying hard to prevent.
There is speculation that this consideration is in tandem with financial savings, allowing Knox to close three days early. This, Schulz assures, is a “minor consideration” in his decision.
Other benefits of this change would include a longer spring break and more time for the Academic Standing Committee in their turnaround period.
Cons include less preparation time for students and faculty, and no buffer or relaxation time for students with exams the first day. Reading days are seen as transition periods from classes to exams, and proposing to cut this time in half has students upset.
Sophomore Oliver Smith believes there would be “adverse affects if they scaled back the reading days.”
“Reading days have become something that I am used to, and I feel it would have a great negative effect on my mental and physical preparedness for final exams [if scaled back],” Smith said.
He is not alone; many students feel the double reading days are a necessary part of the final exam process.
Freshman Danny Ives says preparing for final exams is “100 percent mental,” explaining that with only one day for preparations students will not be as mentally equipped as they would be with the two full days. If implemented, this would take effect his senior year.
Many students, such as Smith, spend five to six hours in the library on one of the given reading days. He agrees that some students use these days as an extended weekend to rest and relax, as well as to attend parties and drink.
This consideration is still in its early stages, with no official actions being taken. Schulz makes clear anything is still on the table.