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Editorial: Working for the weekend

The sea of students lounging on Main Green and the sound of music blasting on Wriston Quad serve as constant reminders that Spring Weekend is only a day away. Yet it seems one can hardly go five minutes without hearing the all-too-familiar gripes of students who have midterms, papers or projects due early next week. We'd like to see this change.

Spring Weekend is a long-standing Brown tradition and professors should appreciate how difficult it is to get work done when most of the school is outside having fun. More importantly, professors ought to recognize that the weekend is the one annual tradition that the entire school has been looking forward to all year.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Spring Weekend concerts. Most professors have never known Brown without Spring Weekend. It therefore comes as a surprise to us that so many professors still insist on assigning major projects and papers due early the following week.  

The purpose of having an annual celebration is to allow students to take a break, relax and appreciate the incredible community we have here without feeling guilty about foregoing work. Or at least that's how it should be.

Having a major assignment due on Monday or Tuesday after Spring Weekend forces students to make the difficult choice between participating in the festivities and spending time in the library. This usually means either missing out on the most highly anticipated event of the year or taking a risk that one's grades will suffer. Some may rush to complete assignments quickly before the weekend starts. In each scenario, students end up in an unfortunate situation.

This doesn't have to be the case. From a professors' perspective, there's very little inconvenience added by having a paper or project due at the end of the following week, especially if the due date is planned out in advance. In fact, the quality of the assignments would probably improve if students didn't feel pressure to work quickly so as to free up their weekend. We would all very much appreciate it if professors planning spring course syllabi would be a little more cognizant of Spring Weekend.  

Professors may claim that the due dates were clearly indicated at the beginning of the semester and that students should plan accordingly and get work done ahead of time. But we don't think students should have to change their normal, diligent working habits just to be able to enjoy the one campus-wide celebration that happens each year. 

Brown students are remarkably industrious the rest of the school year. In fact, with finals approaching in just a couple of weeks, most of us will soon be spending a few more weekends in the libraries. Before we return to our usual routine of incessant studying, it's important to recharge and enjoy ourselves for a bit. Please, just let us have this weekend.

Editorials are written by The Herald's editorial page board. Send comments to editorials@browndailyherald.com.


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