Western's Senate will re-evaluate the "3 in 23" exams policy in 2019 following a request from a student senator to examine the policy and its effects on students.
Current Senate policy states an exam conflict arises when students have three or more exams within 23 hours and students may move an exam as a result of this. In recent years, many students have voiced that they would like to see the "3 in 23" hours policy expanded to include three exams within 24 hours.
Sheila Macfie, Senate Committee on Academic Policy and Awards (SCAPA) chair, acknowledged how stressful three exams within 23 hours is for students but noted that only a small number of students are affected by the current policy.
Through an analysis of the 2013–14 exam schedules, SCAPA found that there would be far more conflicts if the period was expanded to 24 hours. For example, on Dec. 12, 2012, while there were 115 "3 in 23" conflicts, there would be 594 if it was changed to "3 in 24".
"The proportion of students with these indirect exam conflicts is relatively small — it is 0.5 per cent in December and 0.2 per cent in April," Macfie said. "Changing this policy would mean having seven to 10 times more makeup examinations in January and May."
Macfie also noted that Western's current policy is in line with most other academic institutions and hopes the Fall Reading Week will help alleviate some of the stress students face in the fall term. Currently there are more conflicts in the fall term because there are fewer exam dates but approximately the same number of exams scheduled as in the winter term.
Ultimately SCAPA decided to defer evaluating "3 in 23" until winter 2019 at which time SCAPA will also evaluate the pilot Fall Reading Week.
Student senator Harry Orbach-Miller presented a motion asking SCAPA to review the examinations conflicts policy at March's Senate meeting. Orbach-Miller commended SCAPA for their work and research on the policy and for agreeing to look at it again in 2019.
Senate also briefly discussed accommodation for students who are running for executive positions in student organizations. SCAPA is in favour of a policy that would cover accommodating attendance requirements for students running for such positions. However, the current motion only applies specifically to the University Students' Council, and SCAPA requested that a joint proposed motion from all student organizations, such as affiliates and Society of Graduate Students, be presented.
Notably, Western Libraries vice-provost and chief librarian, Catherine Steeves, presented Western Libraries annual report and master plan. Under the current plan, Weldon and Taylor libraries will undergo several renovations and changes over the next few years. For example, some of the renovations to Weldon include adding a community engagement space in the atrium, a graduate students commons and rooftop garden.
The next Senate meeting will take place June 9.