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October 14, 2013 | by  | in News |
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Commerce Not Accounting for Earthquakes

Despite assurances earthquakes would not disrupt their study schedules, Commerce students have been voicing their unhappiness as study breaks are shortened.

After the 6.5 magnitude quake in July, Commerce students faced cancelled lectures as the Pipitea Campus underwent inspection by specialist seismic engineers. As a result of these cancellations, Commerce exam dates have been altered, with classes taking place during study week to make up for those cancelled.

At the time of the earthquake, Dean of Commerce Professor Bob Buckle told Salient that every effort would be made to ensure that Commerce students were not disadvantaged as a result of the quake.

“We appreciate that this may be an inconvenience for some, but we want to ensure you are provided with every opportunity to cover the appropriate material,” said Buckle at the time.

Despite alterations to the exam schedule, Commerce students remain unhappy with the short amount of time between the end of classes and the start of exams. Students believe exams should have been pushed back further, in order that they have more time to prepare following the end of lectures.

Second-year Commerce student Amber Mullins told Salient her biggest complaint was that the rescheduled lectures take up valuable time during study week, and was highly inconvenient for students such as her who “don’t just do Commerce”.

“The impact isn’t as bad on me because I only have two exams, but it’s a pain to finish so late and not be able to pack up the flat until then,” added Mullins.

Another student indicated discontent with the fact that examinable material would be taught in the ‘catch-up’ lectures, very soon before they would be assessed on it.

“Instead of the University moving class into study week, I believe they should have cut a week out of the course content all together, or [content] covered in study week [shouldn’t] be assessable in our exams”.

 Director of Student Academic Services Pam Thorburn told Salient that the decision to alter the end-of-year timetable was made in July and “widely publicised” through a “range of channels”.

“Scheduling university exams is extremely complex, and every effort was made to schedule those courses most impacted by the earthquakes later in the exam period. We have worked hard to produce the best possible timetable for all students,” said Thorburn.

VUWSA Vice-President (Academic) Sonya Clark said that while the University has “done well for the most part”, a lot can be learnt from the process, and she would advise lecturers to be empathetic when deciding on final course marks.

Any students feeling stressed about the exam period are encouraged to seek the student services available, including Student Learning Support and Counselling Services.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Super! First time, students are actually sad, for the canceled lessons. Great job!

  2. aknakatted says:

    It is so nice to hear that they have worked hard to produce the best possible timetable for all students, that they can make their exams.

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