Final or Not?

As students approach the end of the term, some students have faced the task of balancing major assignments during Ultimate Week with their upcoming finals.

Major assignments may only be due during Ultimate Week if they are term papers, projects or major portfolios that will serve as a courses’ final assessment, according to the Faculty Handbook. All courses with a final exam, for example, may not assign any major work to be submitted during Ultimate Week.

Despite this rule’s clarity and the need for time to prepare for final exams, some students find that their teachers violate the rule. This situation puts some students in an unresolvable predicament.

Students could notify an administrator about a teacher violating the rule. This responsibility, however, should not rest on the students. As role models for students, teachers need to demonstrate proper regard for school policy without needing to be reported by a student first.

Asking students to report an adult for any sort of rule violation is never as clear-cut as an e-mail or phone call. Any call to, e-mail to, or meeting with any administrator would feel as though the student was violating the trust or writing off the good will of a teacher he or she may like and respect.

Students rely on teachers to follow this rule. The choice between preparing for a final exam or studying for a test in the same class is often impossible to make—both have the potential to determine a student’s final grade.

Those who bypass the rule and assign tests or essays not only create problems for students but also set a hypocritical precedent for breaking the rules when those rules create an inconvenience. Of course, this group represents a very small portion of faculty members and this situation a rare occurrence. Nonetheless, faculty who can and do discipline students for violating the Blue Book should not openly disregard the regulations that govern their own behavior.

While it is important that students have a clear ability to ensure that their teachers’ policies are in line with the rules, the ultimate goal should be for the problem to not arise in the first place.

This Editorial represents the views of The Phillipian Editorial Board CXXXV.