The election of the future leader of the free world isn’t the only thing some Penn students will be stressing about Tuesday night.
Several professors at Penn have decided to hold major class exams or presentations on the Wednesday after Election Day. The timing, many Penn students think, could not be worse.
In History professor Alex Chase-Levenson’s class, A Tale of Two Cities: London and Paris 1750 to Present, students have a presentation due Wednesday. A College freshman — who preferred to remain anonymous because he is currently enrolled in the class — said he has been working on the presentation for several weeks.
“It’s just annoying because everyone will be up watching the election and giving a presentation after that is going to be so stressful,” he said.
Though the students in professor Chase-Levenson’s class have had three weeks to work on what the student and Chase-Levenson himself called a “low-stress” presentation, some students are not so lucky: Students in Gizem Saka’s Introduction to Economics for Business class have a quiz Wednesday that is worth a significant portion of their grade.
“I will definitely be studying on Tuesday night,” a Wharton freshman in the class said, who also chose to remain anonymous due to current enrollment. “I still hope to be able to watch the election though, even if I have to stay up later to study.”
Many Penn students said they think that, given the historic nature of this election, it is unfair for professors to have students choose between watching the election coverage and getting a good night’s sleep before an important test.
Similarly, many sophomores in the School of Nursing have to perform a physical head-to-toe examination the Wednesday following the election. Studying for this exercise is preventing many of them from watching the election and even voting, they said.
“My friend who lives on the mainline and is registered to vote there and not in Philly might not vote Tuesday because she has to study for this examination and does not have the time to drive home,” Nursing sophomore Mikaela Salvesen-Quinn said.
Some professors have taken this into account and have moved tests or presentations to dates later in the week. College freshman Olivia Sylvester had a midterm in her Intermediate Latin Prose class, but the students convinced their professor to move the date of the midterm to Friday because of the election.
“Our professor was really understanding and he totally got where we were coming from,” Sylvester said. “It’s the first election I’m voting in, it’s the first election where a woman is a main candidate, and it’s also just been such a crazy election; I couldn’t imagine just not paying attention to it all night.”
College freshman Sonia Pearson, as an intern at the Clinton Campaign’s West Philadelphia office, stressed her belief that every Penn student getting out to vote should not prioritize schoolwork for the day. She also said watching the results might be nerve-wracking for many students and could be a distraction from school work.
“The results of this election have huge ramifications for every single person on this campus,” Pearson said. “There is enough stress in watching and waiting for results that will fundamentally shape our futures.”