Success Week starts, spawns stress

Amanda Narverud, Washburn Review

Free time is hard to come by as the end of the Fall semester quickly approaches. During these next two weeks students are busy completing projects, studying for tests and preparing for finals. In an effort to make the end of the semester easier on undergraduate students the University has a policy in place intended to provide students with ample opportunity to prepare for final examinations.

Success Week was approved by faculty Senate on Nov. 20, 2009 and is designated as the five weekdays that precede the first day of scheduled final examinations each Fall and Spring semester.

“Success week is intended to develop a successfully academic atmosphere and support students to succeed in coming final exams,” said Binbin Wu, WSGA member and senior accounting and marketing major.

According to the Washburn University student handbook, the policy for Success Week follows these key points:

  • Faculty are encouraged to utilize Success Week as a time for review of course material in preparation for the final examination. If an examination is to be given during Success Week, it must not be given in the last three days of Success Week, unless approved by the Dean or Department Chair. Assignments worth no more than 10 percent of the final grade and covering no more than one-fourth of assigned reading material in the course may be given.
  • Major course assignments (research papers, projects, etc.) should be due on or before the Friday prior to Success Week, and should be assigned early in the semester. Any modifications to assignments should be made in a timely fashion to give students adequate time to complete the assignments.
  • If major course assignments must be given during Success Week, they should be due within the first three days of Success Week. Exceptions include class presentations by students, and semester-long projects, such as a project assignment in lieu of a final. Participation and attendance grades are acceptable.

The policy also says that “make-up assignments, make-up tests, take-home finals and laboratory exams” are not included in the policy. Also, classes that meet one day a week are exempt from the policy.

While the intentions behind Success Week are good, some professors fail to follow the University policy.

“Some professors follow, while others don’t,” said Wu. “Some professors have heavy papers and long presentations due at the end of Success Week. And some professors even give students early exams during Success Week.”

While it is true some professors may choose to drift away from the Success Week policies, at the same time students may not fully understand the policies previously listed. This leads them to believe that professors are being unfair. The combination of these factors leads to student confusion and the addition of stress before the end of the semester.   

In an effort to relieve some of the stress that comes with preparing for the end of the semester, WSGA holds stress-relieving events during Success Week and finals week. During Success Week they will be in the Memorial Union from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. giving away free cups and stress-relieving stars. There will also be students from Washburn’s PTA club giving free massages.  

“WSGA is going to have a new event, which will provide massages in Mabee library to help students relax,” said Wu. “I think it is a great event.”

Check out www.mywsga.com for more information on events during Success Week and finals week.