With spring fling, short reading week adds stress

Due to this year’s shortened reading period, Spring Fling will take place only three days before final exams begin.
Due to this year’s shortened reading period, Spring Fling will take place only three days before final exams begin. Photo by Florian Koenigsberger.

This year, reading week will not last a full five days for just the second time since the study period was instated over 30 years ago.

Due to the addition of fall break to the 2012–’13 academic calendar, the reading weeks in the fall and spring terms were shortened to three days, compared to five in previous years. John Meeske, dean of student organizations and physical resources and a member of the University Calendar Committee, said the committee did not consider how Spring Fling — which will take place on Monday, the first day of reading week — might further cut into an already shorter reading week, but students said that the combination of Spring Fling and a shorter reading week is creating additional stress.

“The shortened reading week has made the last week of classes and finals a lot more stressful,” Maren Hopkins ’14 said. “Now I have to dive right into studying as soon as my classes are over. It’s especially hard because this year’s Spring Fling is only two days before finals.”

Meeske said for future years, it is not possible to lengthen the spring reading week and exam period — which begins on Thursday and lasts six days instead of last year’s eight. Extending the academic year into May would likely make it impossible for the Registrar’s Office to process all grades and prepare diplomas in time for Commencement, he said. He added that Commencement cannot be pushed back because doing so would place Commencement on Memorial Day weekend, when Yale would have to pay employees extra to work over the holiday.

Council of Masters Chair Jonathan Holloway said he thinks the shortened reading week will not affect students too much since this year’s academic calendar was first published two years ago. He added that the senior dinner is also held annually during reading week — this year, it will occur on Tuesday, April 30 — and that seniors must take the responsibility to plan their reading week accordingly.

The majority of students interviewed said they still plan to attend Spring Fling this year and will adjust their studying to the new reading week schedule.

“In theory, a shortened reading week should affect my approach to Spring Fling, but I definitely will still be celebrating with the rest of Yale,” Candice Gurbatri ’14 said.

Noah Siegel ’15 said he will not alter his plans for Spring Fling and will instead adjust his schedule so that he can still fully enjoy the day’s events. Felipe Montealegre ’15 said he hopes to finish his written assignments due early next week before Monday so he can attend the concert.

Spring semester classes end at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

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