A Student Idea posted on the Guild website on 5 May is calling for the end of weekend examinations.
It claims that “no one wants to work on a weekend” and that there is enough space and invigilators for the exams to be rescheduled to fit entirely into the working week.
The idea has so far been met with general positivity, with 66.2 per cent voting either Agree or Strongly Agree. However, some students have questioned whether it has been unnecessarily classified as a “Large Idea” by the Guild in order to try and prevent the idea from passing.
In a comment posted, Yuzhuo Wang asked “This wouldn’t have been a large idea if it were ‘lobby the university not to have weekend exams’, I think?” Large Ideas require a minimum of 450 votes in order to be passed onto the Guild, whereas a regular Student Idea only requires 25 votes in order to be scored and considered to be put into place.
However, the Guild guidelines suggest that any Idea which calls for a specific ban of something is automatically contentious and therefore needs a higher numbers of votes in order to be discussed.
Questions have also been expressed as to whether this move would adversely affect students in the January season of exams. Although it may work in the summer when exams are spread over a longer period, the shorter January examination season would mean January exams being forced into a single working week. This may end with students sitting more than one exam per day in January, as well as potentially resulting in exam clashes for some.
The proposal suggests that a weekend free of exams would be effective for students, allowing them to relax and revise in a less pressurised environment than currently available.
“Saturday exams are across the whole period to minimise bunching of exams for individuals as far as possible,” Ian Blenkharn, Director of Education and Student Experience told Exeposé. However, he added: “We endeavour to minimise use of Saturday examinations”
The vote closes on 18 May.