To acquire wisdom, one must observe

There’s a lot going on right now

It’s the last full week of classes at Brandeis, so fittingly, it’s the busiest week of the entire year. It feels like every organization on campus is choosing to insert themselves into students’ lives at the exact same time.


Upperclassmen have their housing selection this week. Many housing options were taken by rising sophomores, so upperclassmen only have Village, Ziv, Mods, Grad and Ridgewood to select from. If they aren’t lucky enough to get on-campus housing, they then have to worry about making arrangements to live off campus. Asking Brandeis students to deal with housing selection while the year is coming to its end is unreasonable. Students already have enough on their plates, the university’s administration has shown their lack of empathy for students in these trying times.


The class registration process has also been in progress over the past few days. Students are not only forced to navigate the hellhole that is Workday, but also think in-depth about the courses they’ll be taking next semester. This requires a lot of meticulous planning and can be very time-consuming, which is incredibly frustrating for many students right now. This process should happen during the summer, when students have less on their plates and can focus more clearly on selecting their classes.


Next week is a two day school week, followed by “study days” on May 4 and May 5. But this is no usual school week. Brandeis’ administration has also decided to host a “Brandeis Friday” next Tuesday. This means that on Tuesday, Brandeis will follow a Friday schedule. This is meant to equalize the number of times that each class is held each semester, but it just adds unnecessary confusion to Brandeisian’s lives. If the university’s administration insists on hosting idiosyncratic “Brandeis days,” they should schedule them for less tumultuous times of the year.


Also on Tuesday is the Research Symposium. Taking place from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Hassenfeld Conference Center, “this event will showcase the research and creative work of more than 100 undergraduate students across all disciplines in the School of Arts and Sciences,” according to an April 25 email from Dean Dorothy Hodgson. On the same day, according to the same email, seniors will be presenting their theses research. As all of this is going on, so is the Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Arts. Brandeis is hosting events all weekend to honor the arts in our community. Many of these events feature talks from prominent panelists or shows from campus groups. These events could potentially provide relief from a chaotic period, but also potentially add to the chaos. 


What doesn’t help is that unlike in most schools, we do not get a large amount of time between the time when classes end and finals begin. Most schools, such as Yale and Harvard, give their students a week to catch up on work and study for finals, but that is just too considerate towards the students. Instead, we get one or two days to study, which is also when most events happen on campus. This semester we are extra lucky to get two whole days to study for finals, which is just so generous. Although there is only one day of finals next week, it does not make it any better for the people who have finals on Friday. 


Brandeis’ administration has chosen to unleash an unending deluge of events and obligations upon the students, and it couldn’t be happening at a worse time. Finals start next week, on May 6, which means students need to start prepping now. Having to deal with all of these other events—housing, class selection, the strangeness of next week’s schedule—are unnecessary burdens to an already stressful time.

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