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Renovations trigger a change in common exam time

By Brittany Schaefer, Contributing Writer

Common exam time is changing at the University of New Hampshire. The times are switching from Tuesday and Thursday 12:40 to 2 p.m. to Friday 2:10 to 5 p.m.

This motion was discussed on Oct. 6 and passed on Oct. 20., and the new common exam time change will occur during the academic years of 2015 and 2016.

This new common exam time will re-distribute classes to the old time on Tuesday and Thursday from 12:30—2 p.m. Because of the start of renovations on Hamilton Smith and the fact that many classrooms will be lost during that time next year, the classes needed to be distributed differently.

Michael Ferber, chair of the academic affairs committee, spoke with student council representatives about the change. Some of those students expressed concerns but could not suggest another workable plan.

Administrator for the Faculty Senate Linda Chaston said that no one during the presentation of the suggested motion said that the common exam time had ever changed before.

In the language of the faculty senate motion, it states that the motion was passed “reluctantly.”

“There is some uncertainty as to how the change in the common exam period will affect faculty members and academic departments,” said Senate Chairman Alberto Manalo, associate professor of environmental and resource economics, in an email. “There is concern that the change may be very disruptive.”

While Hamilton Smith is being renovated during the academic years of 2015 and 2016, all 17 of its classrooms will be unavailable. Since many of the classrooms are large, an estimated 1,000 students will be displaced during this time.

Different ideas were tossed around to expand class space availability, such as 7 a.m. courses, but none were approved.

This change in common exam times will only take place for two years. Under the chance that Hamilton Smith takes longer than that, the senate will extend the new schedule or modify as they see fit.

The motion passed with 35 votes for, four votes against and two abstentions.

“Several senators stated their concerns, but there was not really a long debate over the decision,” said Manalo. “In my opinion, the motion passed with a huge majority because there are no other attractive alternatives to the proposal. Senior Vice-Provost [P.T.] Vasudevan presented a compelling case stating that the plan, although not perfect, would work, and the change is only for academic years 2015 and 2016, when Hamilton Smith Hall is scheduled to be renovated.”

Many students think that this idea will have to work for the two-year renovation period although this year’s seniors and juniors will not experience the new motion.

There was minimal concern with UNH students because changing the common exam time seems to be the only way to make losing 17 classrooms work.

“A lot of students have jobs on Fridays so that would be my biggest concern,” said UNH senior Katelyn Monroe. “Overall, this plan seems to be the only workable solution.”

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