Success Week is not so successful

Mabee, Mabee Not Students study at the Mabee library during their new extended hours. Mabee Library officials are still determining whether their new hours extending to 2 a.m are a major benefit to students or not.

Washburn students have a week and a half of classes before summer break. However, those two weeks are being met with some confusion, in regards to their schedules. Success Week comes before the week of final exams, but these have been unclearly defined since 2009.

“Success Week is before finals week,” said Shelbie Konkel, WSGA’s Chief of Staff. “It’s a dead week, basically. It’s an entire week before finals, where students can review their material and study for their upcoming final exams. No homework is supposed to be assigned during Success Week.”

There are more incentives during Success Week than a lack of homework.

“We have incentives for students during Success Week, to make sure they do their best,” said Konkel. “We have an evening of pizza and energy drinks, then later we serve breakfast on campus, and finally we have a late-night snack for students.”

Rewards and incentives for students are supposed to help garner participation in Success Week, but some students aren’t buying into it.

“Success Week is a joke. It’s a bunch of bull crap,” saidBrian Rutschmann, double-major in English and biology.

Rutschmann had a few choice words about Success Week.

“I think we should totally have a dead week,” said Rutschmann. “People complained about needing one a couple years ago, but they didn’t actually get one. What they got was this silly excuse of a dead week that professors don’t actually care about.”

According to Konkel and WSGA, professors are supposed to follow the policy for Success Week. If they don’t, they could face punishment from a dean or department chair.

“I’ve heard of some professors not adhering to the rules for Success Week,” said Konkel. “That’s going to change soon, though. Myself and other WSGA members are working with the vice president of academic affairs to clarify and improve Success Week and make it easier to understand.”

There are three key points in the policy which are being addressed.

“A. 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.”

“B. 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.”

“C. 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 continues, saying 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.

Rutschmann said that professors don’t exactly follows those rules.

“It’s a lack of enforcement,” said Rutschmann. “The actual leadership of the school doesn’t care about the student body at all. They just hurriedly put together an appeasement for students, so that they didn’t have to listen to end-of-the-year complaints.”

Local community colleges such as Allen County have a pre-determined dead week, and it’s been found to be beneficial for their student body. Washburn’s Success Week didn’t come about until 2009, when Konkel was the Chair of Campus Activities.

“I dealt with student needs and wants,” said Konkel. “They wanted a dead week before finals–and so did I. It was originally refused, so Success Week was the compromise.”

It looks as if another compromise is in the works at WSGA.

“We’re going back to the drawing board,” said Konkel. “We need to get faculty and students on the same page. The long-term goals for Success Week include better advertisement and incentives for students.”

Better advertisement and incentives may–or may not–make everyone happy.

“I’d just be happy if I could have a week of peace and quiet before finals,” said Rutschmann. “That’s all I want.”