EDITORIAL: Accountability must exist for students and professors for Dead Week success

Editorial Board

You may remember a few weeks back when we heard GSB was kicking around the idea of looking into making Dead Week a little more, well, dead.

We have on good authority that Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Hoffman didn’t know classes were still held the week before finals week.

That’s right — classes.

Frankly, we aren’t surprised. On the provost’s corner of the ISU website exists a link to the faculty handbook’s Dead Week policy. Among the suggestions for instructors:

“Mandatory final examinations in any course may not be given during Dead Week except for laboratory courses and for those classes meeting once a week only and for which there is no contact during the normal final exam week. Take-home final exams and small quizzes are generally acceptable.”

“Major course assignments should be assigned prior to Dead Week (major assignments include major research papers, projects, etc.). Any modifications to assignments should be made in a timely fashion to give students adequate time to complete the assignments.”

“Major course assignments should be due no later than the Friday prior to Dead Week. Exceptions include class presentations by students, semester-long projects such as a design project assignment in lieu of a final and extensions of the deadline requested by individual students.”

News to you?

The hits keep coming:

“Instructors are reminded that most students are enrolled in several courses each semester, and widespread violation of these guidelines can cause student workloads to be excessive as students begin their preparation for final examinations.

Students are reminded that their academic curriculum is their principal reason for being in college, and they have a responsibility to study in a timely fashion throughout the entire semester.”

This year’s Editorial Board is exclusively students. This isn’t on purpose, mind you, but we’ve all agreed the “guidelines” we’ve just shared with you aren’t exactly commonplace.

We’re not complaining about our homework — that’s to be expected with our fancy college educations.

However, Dead Week and Finals Week are the worst part of our year.

We miss the accountability that came along with the indentured servitude to our government-subsidized public schooling. There are classes with group projects due one week, comprehensive finals the next. Some of us have classes where the only points are four tests, one being a comprehensive final. No quizzes, no projects, no homework.

We have brilliant minds at this university, and it’s a privilege to learn from such individuals. We also have a laundry list of people we’d like to send to remedial teaching workshops.

Accountability has to exist on both sides of the spectrum, but the expectations placed on undergraduates must be kept in perspective.

People drop out because of the stress from course loads, and we’re not talking about the hooligans that drink their way into academic probation.

Maybe some discourse at a GSB senate meeting is in order? Proposing some sort of system to see whether or not the dog-and-pony show at the end of the semester is feasible for John and Jane Q. Student, perhaps?

Hang in there, State. Our fearless leaders won’t let us down. They’ll nip this in the bud.

In the meantime, with fall festivities and shenanigans behind us, let’s put down the beer and pick up the books.

That’s what you’re paying for, isn’t it?