Next semester’s finals won’t take place Dec. 22

Next fall’s final exams will conclude on Dec. 21, a day earlier than in past years.

The University made the change in response to concerns from students, families and faculty, according to an e-mail distributed to students last week.

Dec. 22 has typically been the last day of final exams before winter break. Due to class scheduling problems last semester, officials were forced to schedule more exams than usual on Dec. 22, a move that spawned complaints from people who had to change their vacation plans. Scheduling setbacks also delayed the release of last semester’s finals schedule for several weeks.

Craig Linebaugh, an associate vice president whose office handles finals scheduling, did not respond to an e-mail interview request Friday.

The University eliminated one of two reading days to allow for the schedule change. In the past, students have had two reading days between the last scheduled day of class and the first day of final exams in order to prepare for tests.

The University was able to alter the schedule because the reading days were set to take place following a weekend. The new schedule still gives students three days prior to the start of exams to study, the e-mail sent to students noted. It is likely that a large number of finals will be scheduled for Dec. 21 because GW is still without classrooms in Funger Hall, which is being attached to the new business school building.

Rodney Johnson, director of Freshman and Parent Services, said he supports the schedule change.

“I’m glad they did that because it makes it easier for students to get home,” Johnson said. “Especially for students who celebrate Christmas.”

Johnson, who added that the change is “not that big of a deal” for students who do not celebrate Christmas, said he is not aware of his office receiving any phone calls from parents concerned about the exam schedule. He said his office did receive complaints last semester about the delayed release of the fall 2004 exam schedule.

The University has already released the exam schedule for this semester and next fall. Final exams are scheduled to take place Dec. 13 to Dec. 21 next semester.

Freshman Matt Alderman said he prefers ending exams on Dec. 21.

“I never used the reading days anyway,” Alderman said. “They’re more like party days. I’m not going to do any worse with less study days, although they’re nice to have. Students love them.”

Sara Schwartzman, a freshman, said one less reading day does not make a big difference.

Schwartzman said, “I still think exams go too late anyway.”

-Lauren Emmett contributed to this report.

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