Working hard or hardly working?

Erica Magda

Erica Magda

By Paul Biasco

Reading Day may not be the correct term for Thursday’s day off of classes, according to students on campus. For Alex Mallo, it’s more of an anything-but-reading day.

“I’m going to sleep all day on Thursday,” Mallo, freshman in LAS, said jokingly.

Students’ plans may differ from what University officials have in mind since some students have already had some of their final exams and won’t have another until sometime next week.

Mallo said he has already had four of his five finals before the official final examination week begins. He had an exam Monday, two exams Tuesday and another exam Wednesday. His last final is not until May 5.

“Last semester I had all my finals during the actual finals week,” he said. “I liked it more that way.”

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Although many professors have their exams before the official week, having final exams a week early violates the University’s Student Code.

According to the Student Code, “Instructors must give final examinations at the time specified in the Schedule of Final Examinations unless a change is approved in advance by the Office of the Provost … Permission will not be granted to those instructors wishing to change final examinations to a time outside the final examination week.”

Jack Chen, a junior in Business, said he has already had a few finals already and likes that it was scheduled that way. He does not plan on studying on Reading Day.

Other students plan on “blowing off some steam” before finals. Chuck Creager, sophomore in Engineering and a member of the UI Club Baseball Team, said he planned on going to parties after his game Wednesday night because there are no classes Thursday. He has already had final exams Tuesday and Wednesday and will have two more Friday, he said.

“I need some time to relax between finals,” he added. “Not all engineers are nerds, some are out playing baseball and partying.”

Luke Henry, manager of Joe’s Brewery, said that he expects more students to come out to the bar, but it mostly depends on the weather.

“If it’s nice out and there’s no class, more people will come out,” he added.

Some other universities in the Big Ten have up to a full week off of school before final exam week. Students at Indiana University had a “free week” from April 21 through April 27 before their final exam week. The University of Michigan gives students two days off and the University of Minnesota gives students the weekend off.

Bob Damrau, University Senate Clerk, said in an e-mail interview that an academic calendar task force assembled a few years ago and decided the practice of one meeting day was sufficient.

Students disagree with the current schedule of having the last day of classes on a Wednesday and starting finals Friday.

“It would be nice if it was longer than just one day for freshman because they have a lot of finals,” Chen said.

Robin Kaler, associate chancellor of public affairs said in an e-mail interview that the University assumes that students have kept up with their school work over the semester.

“Reading Day gives students an opportunity to tie loose ends and review what they have learned and make last minute preparation for final exams,” Kaler said.

Tough choice

With both libraries and bars open for most of the day, students will have to choose between books and drinks.

Library hours of operation:

  • ACES Library: 8:30 a.m. until midnight
  • Grainger Library: Open 24 hours
  • Undergraduate Library: Open 24 hours

Bar opening times:

  • Legends: 11 a.m.
  • Kam’s: 3 p.m.
  • Station 211: 8 p.m.