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End-of-year calendar detrimental to students

(Editor's Note: The Tech received a copy of this letter addressed to the members of the MIT faculty.)

As impossible as it may seem, the end of the term is already rapidly approaching, and along with the end of the term comes a high level of stress for students. We on the Undergraduate Association Student Committee on Educational Policy are particularly concerned about the demands put on students during the last week of classes. We feel that they are excessive.

MIT's reading period is meager and the workload in each class overwhelming. This term the reading period is only three days long. This is almost the equivalent of a weekend, which is roughly the same time students have to prepare for a single test during the term. Unfortunately, students are often subject to three (sometimes four) final examinations.

The faculty regulations concerning end-of-term examinations and assignments imply something very important about this final period of the term. It is meant to be used for a "capping up" of the term and not as a time to cover new material.

SCEP's concern is that many professors assign "optional" problem sets. These assignments are optional only in that they need not be turned in; the material in these assignments is inevitably covered on the "not-so-optional" final exam.

In fact "optional" problem sets are against faculty regulations. We ask you to use the last week of classes as a time to cohesively bring the material you taught during the term together; please consider the enormous benefits this would represent for your students.

We have one last request: Please push for major calendar reform. Major calendar reform could mean a more appropriate reading period and more time during the term to cover class material in more depth.

Alejandro Solis '92->


Barbara Brady '93->