Ever since Tech switched over to the semester system, there has been a Dead Week policy that stipulates professors should not assign work or give tests the week before finals. However, especially since last semester, there have been a large number of complaints about professors ignoring the Dead Week policy.
According to Corey Boone, committee chair for Academic Affairs in SGA, the idea behind the formation of a Dead Week policy was to give adequate time to students to prepare for their final exams the following week. Dead Week was meant to be a time in which there were no meetings, no sports activities and no official business in classes, such as tests and quizzes.
The current policy in place states, “No tests or quizzes may be given during the week proceeding final exams week.” While this has been beneficial to students, with many professors adhering to the rule, the policy is not encompassing enough to ensure students’ rights as stated in the Student Bill of Rights if violations occur.
The Student Bill of Rights states that students are granted “the right to have reasonable time to learn course material prior to the administration of an examination.”
Given the large number of complaints that SGA received last semester, they are trying to restructure the Dead Week policy to make it more comprehensive and more fitting with the eighth amendment in the Student Bill of Rights.
In defense of the faculty, Boone mentioned that once faculty members are made aware of the policy, they tend to apologize. However, Boone added, by the time that happens, it’s too late.
“I think it’s an important policy that is often ignored by professors,” said Scott Sherman, fourth-year ME. “Having a test or quiz, in some cases less than a week before a final exam, is distracting and only adds to the stress I’m already under during exam week.”
“If we are mired in papers, lab reports and other laborious assignments, we have no time to review the course material,” Boone said. “Nevertheless, if all of our faculty followed the current policy, that would be a step in the right direction.”
SGA is working with upper level administration to better communicate the importance of this policy. “We’ve been doing this for two semesters,” Boone said. “Violations are down but not eliminated.”