Published by November 12 2013
This year's finals schedule is thievery
Hi, California State University, Long Beach Administration! I have a bone to pick with one of you. Yes, the one that decided to make finals week start on the Thursday before the original exam dates was a good idea. Oh, and cancelling class on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was equally as brilliant. You’re just full of great ideas for this wonderful institute of higher learning!
I have a Wednesday-only class that crams a week’s worth of instruction time into one session, so with this lovely new scheduling situation, the university has changed my contract and made me lose two weeks worth of class time by first cancelling Wednesday before Thanksgiving and then cancelling all Wednesday classes before Thursday finals. So now these classes are rushed to fit two weeks’ worth of instructional material into a 14-week semester.
The issue correlates with the number of days each class misses in a semester. In the past, the schedule made sense. Monday classes miss Labor Day, but then Tuesday gets skipped in favor of Monday classes the day after Veterans’ Day so they only miss one day. Then, for Thanksgiving Break we miss Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday; finally, we get a full week of classes before finals. This way, every class only misses one class, but with finals starting on Thursday this year, the pattern fails spectacularly.
Thursday and Friday classes get screwed because they are missing an extra week of instruction time to take their finals early. Wednesday-only classes get double screwed, because we are not only missing an extra class, we have to take our final on the campus-wide study day. Basically, we don’t get a study day. We’re paying tuition to miss out on class time dictated by the administration level and take a final too early.
Also, for many of us, this isn’t our money we are spending. It’s government money in the form of Federal Student Loans or grants. Hey, remember that debt crisis we’re in right now? Why is federal money being wasted on a state institution’s administrative whims? Why are students going into debilitating debt, which we’ll be slaves to pay off for the next who knows how many years, if we aren’t even getting our money’s worth?!
But if the professors have restrictions on changing our contracts, the syllabus, then why does the administration not have the same accountability? By robbing Wednesday-only classes of two weeks’ worth of instructional time, the university changed the contract without asking if we the students are okay with it. I personally am not. As a graduating senior, I want to milk my classes for all they’re worth before I leave academia and join the real world where I’m no longer paying my employer to teach me something of value. I signed a social contract with CSULB that, in exchange for my time and money, they will give me in return a certain amount of face-time with quality professors who have a good deal to teach and a good way to deliver that information. Robbing me of two weeks’ worth of valuable instructional face-time broke this contract. Thus, it’s wasting my time and money.
Fix it, or I want my money back.