By Jodde Mason
Last year the Students’ Union proposed an online exam bank, but it never came to fruition.
“It was looked at briefly, but there were a number of issues that arose that made it not unfeasible but unlikely last year,” said SU President Bryan West. “The same sort of conditions exist this year.”
One of the biggest roadblocks that West mentioned was in dealing with the clubs.
“We know the clubs would not be happy with losing control of the exams,” said West, who believes this is one of the chief obstacles for the program. “I don’t think this is a dead issue right now, I think it’s been something floating around for a year, so it’s just waiting for someone to take up the challenge.”
Certain clubs, such as the Biological Students’ Association earn most of their revenue from sales of past exams.
“If they’re going to encroach onto the science department and all the biology courses then it would just take away a lot of our memberships,” said BSA President Martin Papez. “Most of the members that do actually become a member here at the BSA are actually looking for better rates on exam packages that we offer to them. ”
“For club revenue generation, the [online exam bank] sucks,” noted West, though he does believes the service would greatly benefit students in general. “What we would be doing is making a more comprehensive broader bank, that’s easier accessible to students. It would be a great service if we could get this thing up and running.”
Papez does not agree that the service would benefit students.
“They come here, they get the exam book, they start talking to someone who has taken that course; maybe that person tutors them,” he said.
Papez also believes it would be tough to get the professors to hand over the exams to the SU.
“Most of the professors wouldn’t even donate their exams to the Copy Centre,” he added.
If the SU takes it over, Papez thinks some students might end up with an unfair advantage.