By Michael Otero
December 23 marks the last day of the current semester. Finals week itself is scheduled from Dec. 16 to the 22. There are over 200 finals on Tuesday, Dec. 22. That means you better do your holiday shopping well before you take your finals.
Yet, Beth Wilkow, who works in the registrar office, said that nothing can be done to make final exams earlier. “There isn’t much decision-making regarding when to have final exams, as the calendar itself dictates when they will be,” she said.
“We are mindful of the challenges when traveling during holiday season, but there is little room in the fall calendar to modify when the exam period is held,” Wilkow said. The school calendar is posted before the semester begins in an attempt to give students time to plan travel arrangements and attempt to alleviate that burden. However, the schedule for finals week usually is not usually announced until several weeks into the semester.
As a school that has a lot of international students, (roughly 6% from 40 countries according to collegedata.com), this information is extremely valuable to them. According to hopper.com, the average price of a plane ticket will be about 75% more when flying during the weeks leading up to Christmas this year. That’s a significant amount of extra money that has to be paid for a ticket to travel home after finals week.
Philip Lundgren, a junior graphic design major from Sweden, thinks the semester goes a tad late. “It definitely puts a strain on what you have to do,” he said. “Finals week should be re-scheduled to accommodate traveling, most professors would understand.”
The late end to the semester doesn’t just affect those who are traveling once the semester ends; it also affects commuters who will be traveling in holiday traffic and weather that could be inclement. “It is a pain in the neck when I’m forced to drive here from a half an hour away and it’s snowing,” said Kahleel Bragg, a senior broadcasting major. “Especially if it’s just for one test.”
While the schedule cannot be changed for this semester, students have expressed their frustrations for future exam weeks during the fall semester. For this fall, students will have to just deal with an inconvenience.