The end of reading day
College officials retire senior week and move up commencement in 2014-15
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013 08:03
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.--The Westminster campus is buzzing about a big change in the academic calendar. Reading Day comes to an end after the Class of 2014 graduates. Campus officials approved an academic calendar that eliminates Reading Day from the 2014-2015 schedule.. The calendar also does away with Senior Week while sliding the date for commencement to a much earlier date in May.
Reading Day has traditionally served as a day reserved for students to study for final exams at Westminster. In recent years, the date has been moved around, however, action by faculty and administrators has now wiped it from the future calendars. Student Affairs officials say the move will help the institution save money by expediting the date for commencement. By eliminating Reading Day and Senior Week, residence halls can close the same week that underclass students leave campus. They also point to the waning participation in Senior Week activities over the years. It once was a time centered around celebrations and fellowship for graduating class. Seniors spent the week together punctuated by a trip to Cedar Point and a Pirates game.
Some faculty admit they were concerned students had turned Reading Day Eve into an occasion to party. However, other faculty point out many Westminster students take Reading Day seriously and embrace it as a chance to prepare for exams and presentations.
Westminster College library directory Erin Smith has experienced many Reading Days at Westminster. She serves as the Director of McGill Library. One would assume that the library would be full on a day designated for reading. Though many students claim to take advantage of the study time, Smith says that's not always the case.
Despite faculty remarks, students are very upset about the elimination of this Westminster tradition. Students claim they need this day to unwind during a stressful week.
However, some students are excited to reap the benefits of no longer having a Reading Day.