‘Dead Week’ means dead tired at MSU

JORDAN GARCEAU/Montana State News

“The terminology of saying ‘Dead Week’… is dying,” said Tony Campeau, Montana State University (MSU) Registrar.

Dead Week – a traditional break from class and assignments before final exams – gives way too little rest for students of MSU, and this likely will not change, according to Campeau.

“Other schools have experimented with Dead Week, but I do not think it is the norm… It would take a big change and revamp to change the structure,” said Campeau.

Dead Week translates to the week period before finals week that is filled with stress and preparation for final college examinations. Many universities have established Dead Week as a time for students to fully concentrate and study for their end of the year projects and tests.

Some colleges and universities, like the University of California-Berkeley, utilize Dead Week to provide their students with a time of no classroom instruction.

MSU students traditionally call the week before finals week “Dead Week” due to the amount of work and lack of sleep endured.

“Dead Week has just become an extension of finals week,” stated MSU student Tyler Nelson. “I often have a final exam or two during Dead Week.”

In looking through academic catalogs, Campeau noted there is no evidence of MSU ever having a dead week with no classes.

“The trend has been to shorten the overall length of semesters,” Campeau. “The week of testing has been changed to part of the instruction to compress the term.”

Although many colleges do not participate in a traditional Dead Week, many schools have clear restrictions on Dead Week examinations.

Iowa State University’s (ISU) website clearly states, “Mandatory final examinations may not be given during the Dead Week period except for laboratory courses or courses that meet weekly and for which there is no contact during the normal final examination week.”

Any violations to ISU’s Dead Week policies result in an investigation by the Dean of Student’s Office.

It is unlikely MSU will adopt a new Dead Week tradition in the future, but Bozeman’s university has made steps to alleviate any unneeded stress across campus during finals week.

MSU’s Renne Library offers their tradition event “Paws to De-stress” during the finals week of both the fall and spring semesters. Various offices across campus, such as the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success, coordinate events that students can attend to gain useful tips for personal stress relief or get their mind of studying.

In addition, MSU Residence Life enforces a 24-hour period of quiet during the starting the Saturday morning before the scheduled finals week. This period lasts until 6 p.m. the Friday of finals week.

South Hedges Resident Director Isaac Hunter said, “Finals week quiet hours are necessary to give students an academically conducive environment to prepare for their tests. They are here to get an education, and Residence Life staff takes this goal very seriously.”

MSU, as well as other campuses across the United States, maintains inconsistent Dead Week schedules and practices. Best practices must be researched as campuses move toward similar dead week goals.

– Edited by Arina Billis

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