Class conflicts restrict students from campus-wide day off

Rachel Scully, Campus Editor

John Carroll University administration requested that professors grant a day off from undergraduate instruction on Wednesday, March 3. However, some students and faculty are not able to partake in the mental health day due to class schedules and short notice.

Barbara D’Ambrosia, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, said she cannot allow students in her one-credit class to take the day off because of their final exam.

“I have a seven-week course whose last day of class is Wednesday of this week, and that’s the final exam,” D’Ambrosia told The Carroll News. “If this had been something where canceling class was unavoidable, if we didn’t have the ability to be remote, and it was a snow day or if we lost internet or something, then I would reschedule it because I wouldn’t have any choice.”

“If I had known at the beginning of the semester that this Wednesday was going to be a day off, I would have dealt with it,” she added.

D’Ambrosia explained that if she rescheduled her Wednesday class, it might create more anxiety for students. So, she chose to stick to the original plan. 

“I felt like, for both me and my students, it would be more stressful to try to reschedule a final exam than it would be to just take it as scheduled,” she said. “Particularly, if we’re thinking of this day off as a way of reducing stress, the fact that the course will be over for those students after Wednesday is, in and of itself, a big stress reducer.”

However, D’Ambrosia is still allowing some of her classes to enjoy a day of rest. 

“For my other class that meets on Wednesdays, I had told them at the beginning of the semester that we would have a day off,” she said. “I had not scheduled it, and so we’re using our day off [on Wednesday].”

Some faculty members had already scheduled certain days off for their students during the semester because of the loss of spring break, according to D’Ambrosia. 

For professors who cannot comply with Wednesday’s day off, D’Ambrosia recommends trading it off for another day so students can still have a mental break. “For my three-credit courses, if I had felt like Wednesday was a bad day to take off, I would have traded it for another day later in the semester.”

Ray Flannery ‘22 said he is happy to have some time to rest, even if it’s only a day. 

“Having this Wednesday off isn’t much, but at least it’s something,” Flannery said. “I can tell that the administration is trying to make the best of things.”