While most students are preparing to celebrate Spring Fling this weekend, for some Friday classes stand in the way of being able to completely shed all academic responsibilities.
Some professors, however, have taken Fling festivities into account when creating deadlines for this week and next.
Among these is French professor Chantal Philippon-Daniel, who said that while she did not originally take Spring Fling into account when planning her syllabi at the beginning of the semester, she was willing to move the deadline for an assignment originally due on the Monday after Fling.
“As long as it doesn’t affect everything we have to get done before the end of the semester, I don’t mind pushing the deadline for an assignment,” Philippon-Daniel said.
However, she and most other teaching staff at the University have not cancelled classes today, despite the fact that many students are planning on skipping.
College sophomore Jason Grant said he skipped class the Friday of Fling last year and is planning on doing so again today.
“Classes should be canceled before Fling since it’s for a University-wide and -sponsored event that everyone participates in,” he said.
College freshman Ushma Shah does not have class on Fridays or Mondays — but if she did, she would skip class for Fling.
“Missed class work can be made up, but if you missed a good time, there’s nothing you can do,” she said.
But not everyone can afford to skip class today. While some students planned ahead and “saved up” their quota of absences for the semester, others won’t have that option. Many classes that take place on Fridays are recitations and seminars where attendance is mandatory.
Philippon-Daniel stressed that she would not excuse students for skipping class.
“Attendance on this day each year can be a problem,” she said. “Motivated students will feel obligated to go to class, but are also torn between doing so and being with friends.”
This is true for many students, including a Wharton senior who wished to remain anonymous because he is not planning on attending any of his classes today and does not want to risk getting in trouble.
“It’s my last Fling,” he said. “I won’t get another again, so I’m going all out.”
While some faculty members do not want “to be seen as being harsh,” it is not University policy to cancel classes for events such as Fling.
“We’ve already missed some days of class because of the snow days, and next week is Hey Day,” Philippon-Daniel said. “If we cancel class for one event, where do we stop?”
And even though many students are going to class today, that did not necessarily prevent them from beginning their partying early.
“I have a mandatory recitation Friday morning so I have to go,” said another College sophomore who wished to remain anonymous because her “TA reads the Daily Pennsylvanian.”
“Whether or not I attend sober however is a whole other issue,” she added.
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