Exam schedule accommodates graduation

Students may notice a few irregularities when they look at their exam schedule for next week, but what they might not expect is that Sun Dome construction is the cause.

Senior Vice Provost Dwayne Smith said that due to renovations to the Sun Dome, spring commencement ceremonies were moved to the St. Pete Times Forum. However, Saturday, a day traditionally reserved for graduate commencement, was unavailable, he said.

Academic Affairs opted to condense the finals schedule into the preceding week and have graduate commencement Friday, moving undergraduate commencement to Thursday.

“Under the original schedule, finals would run through (Friday morning),” he said. “Now that we had graduation on Friday, we knew that we would be short one day (for final exams).”

Smith said Academic Affairs approached the Faculty Senate Executive Committee for input on three possible solutions to being short one day.

“We could end the semester a day early, cut a day off of spring break or we could shorten the final exam schedule and condense it,” he said. “No option was considered to be the best option, but the option to be considered to have the least drawbacks was the condensed option, because it would be the least disruptive to the overall flow of the semester.”

He said all faculty members were contacted prior to the semester so they could include the information on their syllabuses. He said there was no opposition among faculty, because they were given ample notification.

Yet Kenny Kwong, a sophomore majoring in biomedical sciences, said the odd timing of his 8 a.m. organic chemistry final is an inconvenience.

“(The class) normally meets at eight at night, but it is like flip-flopped and in a different (meeting location),” he said. “I hate getting up at that time, it is pretty tiring first of all. I probably won’t be asleep anyway. I’ll probably be studying through the night.”

Smith said there has been minimal opposition to the condensed schedule and the opposition he has heard was conveyed to him by faculty.

“The one issue we had to deal with on a case-by-case basis was we expanded the exam schedule on Sunday,” he said. “Typically, though, we scheduled online exams, but we had a couple of people who, for religious reasons, felt they could not take the exam on Sundays.”

Smith said the faculty handled the situation by scheduling makeup exams for these students. He said a makeup exam period is built into the schedule and any students who have a religious observance Sunday can schedule a makeup exam with their professors.