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On February 17, students at Emmanuel College learned that the traditional Distinction Day would not longer be a day and instead would be spread out in the evenings of two or three days that week. This change was in response to a make up day scheduled on the date of Distinction Day.
“It’s not ideal,” said William Leonard, Dean of Arts and Sciences, “but we really wanted to avoid Saturday classes and taking the Monday holiday like yesterday (President’s Day) and Patriots Day”.
Dr. Patricia Rissmeyer, Vice President for Student Affairs, wants to keep as many presentations on Thursday as possible.
“We may have to over-communicate the schedule so people are aware,” Rissmeyer said, “we think it’s still the same big deal as before.”
Angela Rossi ’15 said she feels that spreading out Distinction Day takes away from the importance of a day that celebrates students’ accomplishments.
“Having the administration make this decision completely undermines the hard work and dedication of the students that are going above and beyond to excel academically, and contribute to real research,” Rossi said.
Rossi reflecting on her own time as an underclassman attending various Distinction presentations, said that it inspired her to that level of academic achievement and worries current underclassmen will not get the same inspiration from the presentations.
“Distinction Day at Emmanuel is the day where the rest of the school recognizes the work we have been putting in,” Allison Londregan ’15 said.
With the day being spread out over the course of the week, Londregan worries seniors will not receive as much recognition as they would during a regular Distinction Day.
“I feel that I and the other seniors who have been striving for distinction deserve one day that our work is recognized by the rest of the school,” Londregan said.
Students attending this “Distinction Week” will have to find time between classes and work to view presentations.
Johanna Salisbury ’15 said she understands the need to move Distinction Day, but is not in love with the idea.
“The administration is doing what they think will benefit the largest number of students, and I respect that. I do think, though, that they are unintentionally undervaluing the importance of independent research at the undergraduate level, which is disappointing,” Salisbury said.
She, like many seniors, worry about presenting after a full day of classes.
Rissmeyer has encouraged seniors with questions about the changes in Distinction Day to contact Barbara Alves-Farrier of the Dean’s Office.
As of March 6, no schedule for “Distinction Week” has been released.
Abbi Matheson is a Staff writer for The Hub. E-mail her email@example.com.