Testing On-Campus During Spring Break?

That's Your Decision, Not Your Professor's.

Take the time you need to chill before tackling the rest of the semester.

Image via Berc/Franklin University

Take the time you need to chill before tackling the rest of the semester.

Kera Morris, Editor-in-Chief

Spring break is here, and students are ready for a week away from campus and classes… assuming their professors are not making them come in for tests.

On Thursday, staff at The Arapahoe Pinnacle were made aware of students who’d gotten bad news. Unlike everyone else getting to take time away for themselves for spring break, going on vacation or just catching up on their busy lives away from school, these students say they have to come in during the week off to make up tests missed during the two snow days on March 13 and 14.

Students who’d been given this irritating information complained about losing part of their break due to something completely out of their hands—a bomb cyclone that froze Denver and the Front Range, causing hundreds of thousands to go without power and necessitated the activation of the National Guard by Governor Polis to rescue people stranded in the blizzard.

While making inquiries to discover whether Arapahoe Community College would allow faculty to take spring break time away from students, we received a forwarded copy of the email from administration to faculty regarding the issue, reading in part:

“Just a reminder that if your students were unable to take exams that would have been given on Wednesday or Thursday while we were closed please make sure you notify the testing center if you are sending students here to test.

If possible please offer the exam during your class time. We will be slammed with exams the week after spring break and students may have to wait for seats in order to test.

Please encourage students to take the exams next week during break if at all possible.”

We have reached out to administration at ACC to learn whether students can be required to sit for testing during their scheduled time off; the wording of the email suggests that coming in for makeup testing is completed at the student’s discretion and that our admin staff has made that clear to faculty, but faculty have potentially not made that clear to their students.

Rebecca Woulfe, Vice President for Instruction and Provost, responded to an inquiry: “Thank you again for bringing this to my attention. This came from our Testing Center and they were simply offering the service. Faculty are very aware of Spring Break and would not require a student to go in over Spring Break. This is only an offer if it would help out a student.”

However, annoyed students making statements like “I have to come in on our week off,” and “my professor is making us come in on spring break,” suggests that some students aren’t being made aware that testing this week is a choice. Their choice.

Students need to know that this week is their week, to do with as they see fit. Professors who are asking their classes to test on break need to reach out to all their students to make this very clear, because some students are under the impression that they must attend this testing.

College isn’t a cakewalk, and breaks are built in to every semester for a reason: we all need to recharge and regroup. Students and teachers alike need to prepare for the second half of the semester. Disrupting their time off can damage that recuperation.

It’s useful that campus is remaining open for folks who prefer to study here, want to get a good workout in at the Fitness Center or who would be perfectly content to come in to make up a test and avoid a packed Testing Center once school starts up again.

But spending on campus hitting the gym, hunkering down in the library or taking your missed midterms during spring break are options and not requirements. That needs to be known by everyone, faculty and student body alike… so professors, if you’re encouraging testing this week, please ensure students know that coming in on break is optional.