By Chris Tait
Residence Services will be asking students in residence to leave 24 hours after their last exam this semester. Prior to last year, students were able to stay until 24 hours after the last final exam in the exam period.
"The change was initially put in place last summer," explained Residence Director Jim Dunsdon, who is new to the University of Calgary this year. "From what I understand, there has been a problem with students partying [in residence]. It was quite a problem for those who [were] studying."
Some, like second-year student Michael Coburn, have issues with the policy.
"There are lots of great places on campus to study," said Coburn. "There’s the study lounge downstairs [in Rundle Hall], which they just redid [and] the libraries are open all the time."
Most students, however, seem to agree with the policy, understanding its relevance, but also have reasons to criticize it.
"It’s a time for studying," said Ashley Ford, a second-year residence student. "They’re trying to get people out so that they don’t trash the building and disrupt people who are still studying. But [one day] can be tough. If your exam is at eight in the morning or ends at five at night, that can make a difference."
Other students share Ford’s sentiments.
"Forty-eight hours would be better because it’s still getting people out pretty quickly," said first-year student Courtney Halliday. "If people have exams that are really close together, they’re going to have no time to pack, which means they’re going to have to do it while classes are still in."
For Halliday’s family, currently living in British Columbia, the policy also poses a problem. She and her sisters finish exams almost a week apart.
Fortunately, there are measures in place to alleviate this problem. In similar circumstances, students can fill out a form at Residence Services and explain why they should be allowed to remain in residence for longer than the allotted time, which are then evaluated by Residence Services.
U of C Associate Vice-President Student Affairs Dr. Peggy Patterson emphasizes the academic importance.
"Our previous policy was inconsistent with our value that the residence community should support and encourage the academic success of students," she explained. "While we understand that it’s a change, most students have not objected. [The policy] is consistent with the departure policies at most other universities."