The Councils Draw on the Power of PowerPoint

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As part of the ongoing efforts to persuade the faculty to end the exam calendar debacle, the student councils have decided that numbers just might be persuasive and have created a PowerPoint presentation to outline just how many ways ending exams on December 23rd makes no sense. Instead, the presentation calls for starting the school year one week earlier in years when Labor Day falls on September 5th or later, including 2011, 2015, 2016, and 2020.

The bullet points, from a survey of 745 undergraduates:

  • 51% of students left campus on December 23rd, and 52% of students paid more to travel home last semester, with 20% paying over $500.
  • 78% of students said the late end to the semester interrupted family plans.
  • 33% of students had to travel to the west coast or internationally for Winter Break.
  • In slightly less serious findings, about 60% of students reported feeling unprepared for 1 or 2 finals, and 90% said they would have used a third study day to, well,  study more. Only 58% said they would’ve slept more, which, frankly, seems biologically difficult at best.

Stay tuned for a full round up of last night’s CCSC developments later today.


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  1. Anonymous  

    Wow, that made a surprisingly good argument. For once, good work CCSC/ESC/whatever other student government groups were involved.

  2. Good  

    Work! I'm very impressed!

  3. When  

    deciding when to study abroad for next year, part of the reason why I chose the fall is so that I could be spared from another crazy Columbia December. My study abroad program will have me on a plane home on the 19th. This is completely unheard of here!

  4. Good Survey  

    But this is going to look self serving to the powers that be. "90% would study with another day?", well of course the student body would say that.

    But I like the other questions, they really show just how many people this issue affects. The University can't flaunt the depth and breadth of its student body that it pulls from all corners of the Earth and then expect them to not remain connected to where they came from. And when was this survey done? Seems like it wasn't well publicized.

  5. Anonymous

    Well done, councils! Keep us posted on the fate of the proposals, Bwog.

  6. Varun

    through, clear, and extremely well presented. hats off to those who put this together; this is absolutely fantastic.

  7. Amazing  

    This is extremely well done, which honestly is rare for the councils here at Columbia. Great job, Sue.

  8. wow

    this is gorgeous. seriously well done

  9. ...  

    faculty work year round, and rarely do they teach more than one or two classes. ...and the prep work for those classes takes months, so arguably it has already been completed by the time they start lecturing...

    the argument that most faculty would need a week of childcare in order to cover them for 2 or 3 75 minute sessions during the first week is absurd. most are working anyway, and if they're not, coming in for a few hours to give a few "here is the syllabus" half-lectures is not that much to ask...

    columbia isn't an "institution we all share." it's a fucking business, a really fucking expensive one at that. maybe if it wasn't the case that columbia debt will be present more often than not for the remainder of my days on earth, i'd be a bit more sympathetic... but please, when i'm already facing a life of indebted servitude thanks for ol' leelos flying circus, having to pay a premium (which mind you, when compounded on student loans is no insignificant figure) for travel to see my folks over the holidays is a right kick to the teeth.

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