Editorial: Defending Dead Day

By Opinions Board
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Killing Dead Day destroys time to study

It seems like this year is the year of the cancellations.

First, the UA faced the prospect of commencement being taken away - an action that was, thankfully, prevented from becoming a reality.

Now, we might see another student-loved event go under the axe if one of three proposals for a new finals schedule is approved.

Recently, the Undergraduate Council reviewed several possible changes to the finals schedule.

One proposal places examinations on Saturday, while another proposes that passing time between finals be reduced from one hour to just half an hour.

However, the proposal that has most students up in arms is the one that calls for the complete eradication of Dead Day.

In an attempt to prevent conflicts between finishing finals and attending individual college convocations, the elimination of Dead Day would free-up the last Friday of finals week so that students would not need to forego convocations altogether.

However, underneath the guise of an entirely sensible plan lies the possibility that this could be another attempt by the administration to eliminate the university-wide commencement ceremony.

If attending one's individual convocation is no longer hampered by overlapping finals, then the administration can go a step further to say that a university-wide commencement is unnecessary. Thus, one more obstacle is eliminated in the step towards bringing graduation to an end.

Besides this reason for opposing this proposal, the cancellation of Dead Day puts students at a distinct academic disadvantage. To go from the last day of class directly into finals does not give anyone sufficient time for review.

If anything, the UA should give students more time in order to focus on studying.

While many other colleges have an entire "Reading Week," the UA is now looking to eliminate our one day of rest before the onslaught of finals week.

By eliminating Dead Day, the UA would be building an environment that is not hospitable towards academics and the needs of its students.

If there must be a change to the schedule, what would benefit students the most would be to have both Thursday and Friday serve as Dead Days and then have finals straight through from Saturday to Thursday. In this way, adequate time would be given for student study and individual convocations.

Perhaps this time, chastened by the recent commencement debacle, students will voice their opinions - via their academic advisors - before the Undergraduate Council votes on the changes in a meeting this Wednesday, Sept. 28th.

Unlike other decisions made at the UA, this is one for which students have been given enough warning and time to respond.

As a student body, we need to take full advantage of this opportunity to demand the kind of academic environment we deserve.

Staff editorials are the opinion of the editorial board and written by one of its members. Its members consist of Susan Bonicillo, Nate Buchik, Evan Caravelli, Brett Fera, Caitlin Hall, and Andrea Kelley.