Student Senate resolution allows for spread out finals

Allison Rafferty

It’s Tuesday night during finals week and you have three exams tomorrow. You’re trying to study, but your stress levels are on the rise because you know that no amount of coffee can prepare you for six hours of testing. If this sounds like your version of finals week, Grand Valley State University’s Student Senate is offering a solution. 

On Thursday, Nov. 8, Student Senate passed a new resolution that permits students with three or more finals stacked on the same day to move their exams to a different date. Student Senator Ethan Schafer wrote the resolution after being informed that there was not an official policy set in place when it comes to students having three or more final exams on one day. 

“(I was) inspired to write this resolution after the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Ed Aboufadel, came into one of our Student Senate meetings and mentioned that we don’t have an official policy for three exams in one day,” Schafer said. “I reached out to him and we started a discussion, which led to the resolution.” 

He continued by explaining what the resolution is addressing and the reasoning behind his decision to write it. 

“There is currently not a process for a student to switch their finals; that’s what this resolution is addressing,” Schafer said. “I created the resolution to ask the faculty to create a policy for this, so it can be fair to both students and professors. Most other public schools in Michigan have some sort of policy for this, and it is all very different.”

Another reasoning behind Schafer’s decision to write the resolution was his awareness of some students with multiple finals on the same day and with whom the ability to move their finals would be beneficial. 

“I do know a few students who are affected by this,” Schafer said. “I would say 90 percent of students could have an exam moved, no problem. Most of Grand Valley’s professors are amazing and willing to accommodate, but there are a few who will not. This resolution addresses those professors.”

Schafer addressed how the resolution was passed and added that Student Senate’s feedback helped craft the final, solid version of the resolution. 

“This resolution wasn’t too hard to pass,” Schafer said. “Student Senate takes a week between proposing a resolution and voting on it. (During) the first week, Senators were fairly critical, but I was able to make the changes they suggested and it passed unanimously the next week.”

He continued by explaining that while the resolution passed without objection in the Senate, it still has to go through other levels of GVSU government. 

“The resolution is making its way through faculty governance at this point,” Schafer said. “The faculty also has (University Academic Senate) where a lot of larger decisions are made.”

While finals week will never be an easy time for students, Schafer and the rest of the Student Senate are doing their part to make it a little easier, one resolution at a time.