IS NOTHING SACRED?

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By Maurice Cacho

Following faculty complaints that the university doesn’t give them enough time to grade exams, students can expect Sunday exams and a longer exam period next term.

This will give faculty more time to grade tests and in turn make timetables available sooner. This past December, undergraduate exams finished on Saturday, Dec. 18, leaving faculty with only two days to mark and submit grades.

“When you put all of that under this kind of time constraint, you’re just asking for [grading] mistakes to be made,” said Neil Thomlinson, politics and public administration program co-ordinator.

But not all students are thrilled about the extra exam day. “I would not appreciate Sunday exams. I’m not very religious but Sunday is a rest day,” said Mike Vu, a third-year Retail Management student. “If I have an exam (on Sunday) I’m gonna ask for another day. I’d go to my program director and ask it to be switched, even for Saturday, although there shouldn’t be weekend exams at all.”

But Vu does see the university’s dilemma regarding time and space. And he said some students may actually benefit from the extra day.

“(Ryerson) wants to make sure exams are spaced out further,” so students don’t have to write back to back tests, he said.

The issue was raised at last week’s Academic Council meeting by Thomlinson, who is spearheading the motion.

Both Thomlinson and Registrar Keith Alnwick agree that Ryerson’s unusual 13-week semester (compared to 12-week semesters at other universities) makes it hard for grading to be done before marks are due.

The University of Ottawa is already conducting exams on Sunday. “They’re brutal,” said Julian Campisi, a second-year arts student at U of O. “You need a day off in between to study and refresh.”

Further details will be available after the university conducts its interim report, which will be ready by March.

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