At least six midterm examinations have been postponed after Penn suspended University operations on Thursday because of the citywide parade for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Some professors, such as Math professor Henry Towsner and Business, Economics, and Public Policy professor Mike Abito, said they were in the process of emailing back students who had asked to move the exam because of the parade to say that was not possible, when the University announced its decision.
Towsner moved his MATH-114 class’s midterm to Tuesday. He said he thinks the cancelation is disruptive for the course, but also said it was probably the right decision, given the transportation difficulties.
“My biggest concern right now is the impact on the drop deadline because we really like to get an exam back to students so they can see it and get a score before that,” he said. “We’re going to be a little squeezed to get that back and have enough time for students to look at it and make decision before the drop deadline.”
Abito, who had to reschedule a BEPP-250 exam, also said the decision was for the best due to travel issues, but wishes the decision had been made earlier. He said moving exams is difficult, especially because there are many other classes that also have to do so under such short notice.
Abito’s BEPP-250 exam was ultimately rescheduled to Monday during normal class time, though issues remain.
“The problem is, our exam is designed for two hours, but the class is just an hour and 20, so I had to adjust the test so it’s going to fit the time.” He continued, “It’s a big class, a class of 300, and typically they have to take the test at the same time, but since it’s three sections, there’s going to be some possibility of cheating and stuff like that.”
Some midterms, like PHYS-151, have been postponed indefinitely because of difficulty finding rooms.
Many students called for the University to cancel operations days before the parade, with over 3,300 signing a petition to Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett. Students are largely grateful for the decision, yet some express concern about falling behind in classwork or taking too many exams in the same week.
Engineering freshman Abby Stein said that the exam postponement worked in her favor and gave her more time to study, and is also glad that Penn is allowing students to feel more connected to the Philadelphia community.
She did, however, acknowledge that other students were left in “worse situations” due to the cancellation.
“It actually worked out really nicely for me because I have another midterm on Friday, but I know that one of my friends has four midterms next week because of it.”
Wharton sophomore Jordan Lannone agreed.
“I’m pretty happy it was moved, just because I was really busy this week, and I was stressing out a little bit, and now that it’s postponed until Monday, I have a little more time to prepare,” Lannone said. “But at the same time, I have a lot of friends who have midterms next week, and so now it’s actually going to make their next week a lot harder than this week would have been.”
Though College freshman Eva Spier understands Penn’s reasoning, she said she also felt inconvenienced by the cancellation. Spier’s BIOL-221 exam was rescheduled to next Thursday.
“I was kind of annoyed because I was ready for the exam, and now I have to retain that information for another week,” she said. Spier was also disappointed that her Chemistry recitation was canceled, as she was counting on that time to review for her test on Monday.
College freshman Phil Zanfagna was not planning on attending the parade because he is a Washington Redskins fan and does not feel affected by the cancellation.
“To be honest, the exam being moved really didn’t affect my schedule that much, it just gives me more time to study," Zanfagna said. "I think the University made the right call because most kids I know were going to take the makeup exam because they were going to the parade.”
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