Brian delaMotte, a sophomore computer science major, is already preparing for finals. Though he has heard the term “dead week” before, delaMotte isn’t quite sure on its true meaning.
“I’m guessing from that term that it’s the calm before the storm,” delaMotte said.
Christopher Mathias, policy manager for the Office of the President, said the Faculty Senate is determining what the term “dead week” means to the Boise State community.
“It should be called ‘life support week,’” Mathias said. “Nothing is dead. Things are still going on.”
DelaMotte agrees with Mathias.
“It’s the final push to get things done,” delaMotte said.
Marian Thomas, a writing professor at Boise State, said she still holds class, but uses the time to help students finish up their final portfolios.
“Students are working on their portfolios which means compiling, reviewing and revising previous work during this week before final week,” Thomas said. “I am hesitant any more to have portfolios submitted during dead week as the portfolio represents
Currently, University policy #3080, 1B states, “Homework, papers, problem sets, and projects may be due during the last seven calendar days preceding the first day of the officially scheduled final examination period of the fall or spring semester.”
However, under 1A in the same policy it is stated, “No test or examination will be given during the last seven calendar days preceding the first day of the officially scheduled final examination period of the fall or spring semester, except in those lab or performance classes where it is necessary.”
Take home tests may be distributed, but not made due during this period.
Mathias said the debate on the definition of dead week started because the rules were, and are, constantly being broken.
“The reason we are talking about it is because people aren’t following the rules,” Mathias said. “Dead week is a pretty clear concept.”
One area of confusion is whether or not professors can cancel class during dead week. Mathias said it’s a choice the professor can make if he/she sees fit.
“There is nothing in this policy that says they can’t (cancel class),” Mathias said.
The Faculty Senate will continue to revise the policy, but have yet to determine what the best route is for Boise State students and faculty.
“It’s hard to change the words if you don’t know what the goal is,” Mathias said. “I really hope to figure out what we want to do.”
Mathias compares policy writing to barbecuing.
“Policy is like a BBQ, you don’t want to rush it. We want to do it slow so we get the right flavor,” Mathias said.