When Jeffrey George, a junior political science major, first ran for the SGA presidency, one of his main platform points was his desire to implement a dead week policy to help students at The University of Southern Mississippi prepare for finals. A year later, George and SGA are still working to implement the policy.
The draft of the Academic “Dead Week” Policy provided by the SGA states, “The intent of this policy is to establish a one-week period of substantial and predictable study time for undergraduate students.”
The policy prevents teachers from assigning tests worth 15 percent or more of the final grade to be taken during the five days prior to finals week. Projects or papers worth 15 percent or more of the final grade would only be allowed to be due during this week if stated in the course syllabus.
Instructors will still be able to introduce new material and give make up exams during the Dead Week, but any assignments added during the Dead Week must have dean’s approval and be graded and returned to students by the last day of class during the week.
According to Kyle Stoner, a senior accounting major and SGA vice president, “This (policy) allows students to adequately and efficiently prepare for their final examinations, projects and aids to the overall student success.”
“We are currently working with the provost’s office to work out minor details of the Dead Week Policy. We have shared the proposed policy with the academic deans, the Council of Chairs and Faculty Senate to receive feedback on the policy,” George said.
“The deans raised some questions that we had not considered at the time regarding the policy, and Dead Week was brought back to the drawing board for some adjustments,” Stoner said.
George said the issues concerned night classes, eight-week classes and labs, but he said with the help of campus officials, the policy has been updated to address those issues through revisions.
The draft states, “Exemptions from this policy include night classes, laboratories, freshman English composition courses and any classes meeting once a week.”
“After this process (of adjustment) is complete, the President’s Executive Cabinet will vote on the policy,” George said.
George and Stoner expect the policy to be put into effect during the next academic year, probably during the upcoming fall semester. They both wanted to express to the student body that the policy is a continued effort from the SGA to enhance the college experience of Southern Miss students.
“It is important for students to know that the Student Government Association is here to advocate for the needs of our students to our administration,” George said.