Some Foundation Year Programme (FYP) students at the University of King’s College are unhappy this week after a petition to extend an essay deadline was rejected by the program director.
First-year representative Katie Douglas says many FYP students have been affected by recent disruptions at the university, extenuating circumstances or feel the deadline is too short, and could need an extension on their essays.
Douglas, who signed the petition herself, said many students are currently living at the Lord Nelson hotel due to flooding on campus, while others are behind in their studies from delayed flights after the winter break. Others, she said, have lost school material from water damage, while others just feel the two-day window isn’t enough time to write a “reasonable” essay.
The petition, which received 112 signatures, was sent to FYP director Daniel Brandes with a letter explaining why students feel they need an extension. The program has an enrolment of 290 students.
Although travel and housing woes are a definite concern for both the school and FYP students, Douglas said students feel the biggest issue is the small window of time between their last lecture, which was on Friday, and their essay due date, which is Monday.
“The main issue is that some of the works that are on our essay questions, we won’t actually finish reading until Friday,” said Douglas.
The program, which is designed to provide a grounding for future studies, focuses on classic texts and is unique to the university. Part of the criteria for the program is essays every other week that cover readings from the previous two weeks.
According to Brandes, the department has run the program a bit differently this year.
After the first FYP essay last fall, students were given essays back to revise and resubmit, said Brandes, and so the essay deadline schedule was shifted forward.
Since returning from winter break, students learned they have a shortened time frame for passing in essays. Rather than having four or five days between the end of class and their due date, they now only have a weekend.
Brandes said in order to cover all of the course material, faculty cover some texts closer to the the essay deadline. He also said students are not forced to write on later texts, and if they feel the pressure of the deadline, they are able to write on earlier texts, therefore having longer to write.
|“The program’s relentless stretching of our personal limits has revealed our potential.”
In the wake of the essay’s deadline, FYP student Madi Haslam gives her opinions on the extension petition.
The petition, which can be found on petitionbuzz.com, says the time frame for the essay is “unreasonable.”
Jesse Laufer, the external vice-president of the KSU, took FYP last year and said short deadlines are standard in the program. When he went through the program, the deadlines were the same as those this year’s FYP students are trying to fight.
On top of the hardships of displacement and delayed flights, Douglas says students are “overwhelmed” by the shortened deadline.
“It’s a shame that they felt the need to adapt the schedule at the start of the year because I feel it doesn’t benefit us later on,” said Douglas.
Although the program opted not to extend the deadline, Brandes said the school is sympathetic to students and is encouraging students who feel they need an extension to talk the associate director of the program.