CU Boulder Students Either Pissed Off or Thrilled by Finals Cancellation

We tend to think of snow days as being universally beloved by students of all ages.

But that wasn't the case for everyone impacted by the University of Colorado Boulder's decision to close the campus yesterday as a result of the unexpectedly large snowstorm that struck the community.

That's because the closure took place during finals week — and students who needed to score well on tests for certain classes in order to boost their grades may be out of luck.

The first announcement from CU about the campus closure noted that "a make-up in-person exam is not an option for an exam canceled today," with a subsequent release noting that on-campus make-up exams wouldn't be possible "now or later." As such, "grades can be based on work-to-date in the course" — and while "faculty may also develop online exams, take-home exams or other take-home assignments to be completed this semester," there was no across-the-board mandate that professors and other instructors do so.

Negative responses to this edict soon began piling up on CU Boulder's Facebook page. Here are some representative takes from students, parents and other members of the university community:
So, you're telling us that the students who were relying on the final to pass their difficult classes are just gonna fail?? That's just unacceptable. After a whole semester worth of work you put in....

As a contributing part of the alumni community, educator, season ticket holder, part of 3 generations of 20 + family members who are buffs, parent of a current student etc....The decision to cancel these finals is unfair on many levels and indicative of poor planning, policy, and procedures on the part of campus leadership. Unfair to students that needed the final to demonstrate their learning, unfair to students that did not have finals scheduled today, unfair to professors who care about seeing what their students have learned.........Bad decision all the way around.

As a paying parent I don't think we should accept this. If a student fails because the lost opportunity to boost their grade with a final exam then we should demand that the class will not appear as a failed class.

This is annoying. what about classes that are based on 3 exam grades and thats it? i do not think its fair to calculate a grade based on 2 exams, especially when there has already been so much work put into studying for the 3rd one.

I couldn't agree more with the comments regarding canceling tests. That is insane and unjust for a higher academic institution of the caliber of CU. How do you justify that to a student who has devoted over 40+ hours of study time and costs of tutors etc for a class that is extremely relevant to his major and future career? I guess the message is 1/3 of a class grade and all the effort in a Calculus test is not relevant to a Chemical Engineering major? Whichever administrative idiot who made this decision needs to lose his/her job. Or maybe since it is not relevant, the student should get a full refund for any tuition they paid for a incomplete class and have that grade removed from their transcript?

If I were a student that needed that final exam to bump up my grade, I would be straight up pissed. Why couldn't the Univ reschedule those exams for late tonight or the rest of the week starting at 9p, 10pm 11pm. My children are not effected by this ridiculous decision, but I bet there are thousands of students that could be devastated.
Granted, others were thrilled by this turn of events — only the second campus closure during finals week in more than a decade — and they used fewer words (and more exclamation points) to express their emotions. Examples include "Wow! Big Snow Day!," "Best news ever!" and "Seriously the best end to my undergraduate career — THANK YOU THOR AND SKADI!!!"

At least some people were happy....

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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