2/16/21 Purdue Snow Day, Cyclist

A Purdue student cycles through the snow on reading day.

The first reading day of the spring semester brought relaxation for some students and stress for others.

Students in PHYS 172 found that the due date of one of their assignments had been changed from 11:59 p.m. Wednesday (the date of the reading day) to 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

“We made it 12:01 so it wouldn’t be on the reading day,” said Sanjay Rebello, a professor of physics and astronomy.

Students took to Piazza, message board used by the class, to dispute the technicality. One student anonymously posting that the changing of the due date had led to “more stress, confusion and higher workloads” for students.

After Rebello's comment calling students’ complaints “frivolous” sparked backlash, he pushed the deadline back by 24 hours at around 10 p.m. on Wednesday.

“What was originally done was a ham-fisted approach to meet the technicality of the reading day,” Rebello said in a phone call Thursday. “The students were right. My initial response should have been more positive.

“I realize the complaints were not frivolous and that the day was set aside for (students) to master the material and catch up on academic and non-academic tasks. I was wrong and I will send an email to students clarifying that we will be respectful of reading days.”

Purdue Student Government President Assata Gilmore said that around 25 faculty members had been reported for disregarding reading day procedures since the beginning of the semester.

“I believe most of the reports have come from the College of Science, Krannert, the School of Aviation and the College of Engineering,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore said she was unsure of any direct consequences faculty would face for failing to adhere to reading day policies though.

“I’m hopeful that the attitudes towards the next two reading days will be more supportive and the faculty members and administration will hold one another accountable moving forward to ensure that we have 100% participation next time,” she said.

Sam Montgomery contributed reporting to this story

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