Finals vs. Derby Day: wrong place, wrong time

By Luke Tancredi

Staff Writer

When the warm weather starts to hit, students being to prepare for Derby Day, the college version of the iconic horse race. Students put on their spring dresses, colorful shirts and blazers to enjoy drinks on the 300’s eld. But there is one small change, piggy-back rides only, no horses allowed.

Illustration by Katrina Pietz

But what happens when you have a final exam scheduled on Derby Day? Do students cram for the exam a few days in advance, or do you go out with your friends and enjoy the warm weather? To many students, days like Derby Day and P-Day offer a chance to unwind and have fun with friends before breaking for summer. Now, for the second year in a row, many will be worrying about have to worry about finals preparation before even thinking about such relaxation.

Final exams could make or break a student’s grade for a class. Derby Day makes it more difficult for students to cope with finals.

“Derby Day is kind of a big thing and if you miss it because you have to study or have to take an exam, I feel like it’s just not fair,” said Cameron Maher ’21. Not only is the pressure of attending Derby Day high, but with the pressure of your

friends pushing you to go out also does not help. “The majority of students go to derby day and friends expect you to go too. It’s a big event and at this college we don’t have too many huge events that most of the school goes too” said Maher.

However, some staff and faculty see it being bene cial for students to make the most of the last few academic days they have in the semester. Jonathan D’Amore, Dean of the College, said priorities in studying and finals preparation should come first.

“I think there’s plenty of time to have fun, and finals are also going to be to- wards the end of the semester, so cut- ting into the fun during that last week is second to the conclusion and results of the semester,” said D’Amore.

This is not the first time that finals have been scheduled on Derby Day. Last spring finals fell on Derby Day for the first time. “Part of the decision to make it had to do with scheduling around the end of the semester and the way students took their leisure at the end of the semester time. Part of it is also we have a limited amount of time between when we need to have all the days of the semester happen, when the semester ends, senior week and graduation” said D’Amore.

“We need to have that number of days of finals to accommodate that number of classes, so the schedule had to be adjusted anyway” said D’Amore.

“These past two weeks everyone wants to be outside, hang out and hang with all of their friends for the last few weeks of school,” Alyssa Cimino ’21 said. “We don’t have nice weather here in Vermont often, so it is annoying to be studying and taking finals on nice days.”

With the nice weather rolling back around through Vermont many students want to be outside and relax. “Last year I remember I was trying to study in the morning and all of my friends just came into my room and made me stop study- ing to go, so pressure is definitely a big thing too,” said Cimino.

“Saturdays and Sundays are sup- posed to be for relaxation and nals should only be given on weekdays” said Jaron Bernire ’21 who was one of the many students to have their nals scheduled on Derby Day. He said he disagreed to having nals on during Derby Day. He also mentioned that it takes the fun out of the warm weather that has recently came back.

“It is been winter nearly all year round since basically September, so it would be good to relax for a bit” said Bernire.