A possible “three midterm rule,” which would limit the number of midterm exams students would have to take during a given time period, was introduced at a student government meeting Monday.
The Coordinating Council of the Associated Students of Madison examined the benefits of implementing restrictions on the number of midterms per student as well as the difficulties associated with gaining faculty support for the measure.
Maria Giannopoulos, Student Council vice chair, said the proposal came about after she had three midterms in two days.
“[I] tried to have them moved, but people were not very helpful,” she said.
Giannopoulos said she sees this as a potential problem for many students. She said she hopes to bring the idea to the Council floor as a way to gauge student interest on the issue.
The committee then debated the effectiveness of the possible “three midterm” rule in helping students.
Daniel Statter, Legal Affairs Committee chair, said the stress of having multiple midterms in one day can be useful to student development in terms of building time management skills.
He also said communication between the student and professor is a way to resolve this issue.
ASM Nominations Board Chair Sean McNally said there should not be such a heavy concentration of midterms all at once, particularly when they determine such a large percentage of students’ grades.
He also said some professors allow little or no “wiggle room” on exam times and this is unfair to some students.
“It’s a little ridiculous,” McNally said. “I think we can spread it out a little bit here and there.”
Giannopoulos agreed it creates extra strain for students who are already juggling a busy schedule.
McNally questioned the extent to which this rule could be enforced by working with faculty and staff. He said it would be difficult to distinguish between tests and midterms, and this gray area needs to be cleared up before a rule can be made.
“It’s going to be a negotiation,” McNally said.
Giannopoulos said she sees both positive and negative feedback from the faculty regarding the proposal. She also said cooperation is key in drafting legislation that would be practical to implement.
The structure of the legislation, as well as its compliance with current university rules governing midterms, is still in development, she said.
“It’s very much still in the idea phase,” she said.
The rule would eventually have to be approved by professors and faculty before it could be implemented, Giannopoulos said.