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Louie Villanueva

Do students actually skip class for BSD?

By Jill Girgulis, March 29, 2016 —

You’ve almost made it to April 13, the last day of classes for the 2015–16 school year.

So what are you going to do to celebrate the occasion? If you’re a University of Calgary student, you probably won’t spend it in class.

At the U of C, the long-standing tradition of Bermuda Shorts Day dominates end-of-year celebrations. Since it takes place on the last day of classes, students and professors assume that lecture halls will be mostly vacant.

I was curious if the majority of students actually take part in the campus-wide festivities of beer gardens, food trucks and live music. Or does everyone do the responsible thing and actually go to class?

Out of a sample of 129 undergraduate students in MacHall, the TFDL, Science B and ICT, I discovered that roughly 58 per cent do not intend to go to their classes on BSD.

The remaining 42 per cent expressed some level of interest in attending their final lectures. 

Surprisingly, a considerable number of people had no idea what BSD was. Others weren’t planning on going to class or to BSD. Quite a few students needed us to clarify the date of BSD. These findings suggest that end-of-year celebrations are not the main focus of all undergrads — which is probably a good thing. After all, it would be a shame for students in the home stretch to crash and burn just before finishing finals. 

Personally, I fall into the category of students who believe that the semester isn’t over until the last scantron is bubbled in — or even until the last grade is posted. As a result, this attitude prevents me from fully enjoying the last day of classes, especially since I’ve always had a final on the first day of exams. Last year, my end-of-year celebration consisted of treating myself to a Blizzard from Dairy Queen and then briefly checking out the UCalgary Strong festival in between classes.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t the only option. Some of my classmates hold the belief that after a full year of classes, they’ve earned the right to take a break. And, if they’ve worked hard all year, they can likely afford one. This could be the reason why so many students opt to partake in BSD instead of going to classes, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that.

Despite the different approaches students take to the end of the year, my data revealed that a slight majority of students do favour skipping class on the last day. It would be interesting to ask them how they came to this decision, as well as to gather data from specific faculties and see if any particular patterns emerge. But as it stands right now, this myth is classified: CONFIRMED.

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