Reading days come to campus for the first time

For the first time, reading days are coming to USF. Today and tomorrow, classes are canceled so students have a chance to focus on studying for their finals next week.  ORACLE PHOTO/ADAM MATHIEU

There are no classes today and tomorrow. 

This break before finals week is thanks to USF implementing university-wide reading days. 

The idea was proposed as part of former student body president Andy Rodriguez and vice president Mike Malanga’s platform last year in order to assist students’ time to focus on exams and assignments without the burden of classes, tests and assignments due before finals week. 

“Before I was president, there was a semester where I was taking organic chemistry, and within four days I had three (organic chemistry) exams. I remember it being one of the worst semesters; it wasn’t fair,” Rodriguez said.

Regardless of the benefits, there seems to be an air of hesitation surrounding the program in its current form. 

The Oracle approached eight professors who refused to comment.

“It seems like a really good idea, and it helps with managing stress, but I feel like professors have to wrap up content too fast, which could take away from the quality of the lectures,” said Reshma Pinnamaneni, a senior majoring in biomedical sciences.

Rodriguez mentioned that the program could improve in the coming semesters by becoming more similar to what the University of Florida (UF) carries out each year. 

UF adds an extra week to the semester, thus allowing for more class time while maintaining the last two days as reading days.

“Reading days would have really helped me with exams and projects if they’d been introduced my sophomore year when classes really started getting tough,” said Priyanka Raju, a junior majoring in accounting.

A modification that Rodriguez said was set to begin during the next academic year is the switch to Wednesdays and Thursdays as reading days. 

This is due to the frequency of holidays falling on Fridays, a state requirement about how many Fridays must be in the semester, and the constraint that classes face in completing their lessons in time for final exam preparation. 

“Some students might not use it, there are going to be students who abuse it, but in response to that, the way that I see it, (the) program is there for the students who are going to be studying hard at the library, or working hard in their exams, and really do care about their finals,” Rodriguez said.