Common Hour Exams Now Even Later ?!?!

by Caleb Pan

Everyone loves exams (yay). I just had one just this past Thursday. If you’re wondering what class would do such a thing, I’m not sure if Operating Systems should be a legal class either. Non-first years have likely noticed that common hour exams have been pushed back to 8:00-9:30. While the difference is only 30 minutes later, it is still offensive. How could the administration let this happen?

The new freshman class is the largest in Mines history. While that seems unsurprising with the pre-pandemic trend of class size record-breaking and forced triples, there is an unexpected caveat. The admittance rate was lower than in previous years. However, the yield (the number of accepted applicants that choose to enroll at Mines) was 10-15% higher than previous years (yields at other Colorado schools experienced the inverse). 

As a tuition-driven school, this was financially great news. On the other hand, the unprecedented number of students have pushed core classes to their limits (such as physics and chemistry). To compensate, evening sections have been introduced that go on until 7:30 which would’ve conflicted with the previous common hour time. Hence, the pushing of 30 minutes back.

According to Colin Terry, Assistant Vice President for Student Life, the new common hour is “probably a one-time exception” due to the circumstances of this semester. Hopefully, that is the case, but the current situation can be viewed as a warning of continuing to grow Mines without proper support for it.

On a separate concluding note, while Operating Systems is still questionable with its ethical standards of how early to give out exams, the instructor offered to provide accommodations based on concerns of having an 8 am the next day or walking home alone late at night. It is only a 30-minute difference, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t meaningful either. So, like all things to succeed at Mines, always say something if you need it. Good luck with your exams this year!

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