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On This Last Reading Day of the Semester: The Origin of Reading Days at Rhodes

Publication Date: 5/6/2010

Students camp out in Barret Library to study for finals.

In 1960 a group from the Student Council began a formal process requesting a reading day. Note that our own Professor Emeritus Jack Streete, then a senior, was a part of this student council group.

Sadly, we had no Professor David Jeter (and Faculty Secretary) then to take good notes at faculty meetings, so there is no mention of the process in the faculty meeting minutes or the board minutes.

Student Council Meeting minutes from January 12, 1960, record:

“The Council will begin a campaign for a free day before exams.  The petition, with a list of grievances will be signed before exams and given to the Dean after we come back from the semester holidays. Committee appointed consisted of:  Jerry Duncan, Jack Streete, Corinne Ridolphi, Jack Thompson, Jocelyn Dan, Allen Reynolds. The petition will say “free period”; the exact time to be requested will be decided by Committee.”

The Sou′wester on May 5, 1960, reports:
"Jerry Duncan [Student Government President] read a letter from Dean Jones concerning the free day before exams. We will not have a free day this semester but we will have one next year.[in January 1961]. At this time it will only be an experiment to see how valuable it is."

The Sou′wester on Jan. 20, 1961, reports:

"The faculty has granted the student body a free day before exams. This movement has been pleaded for many years, and the final realization of it is very pleasant to all students. However, it is requested that the student body please take this day seriously, as it will be taken away next time exams come around if it is misused. Of course, seniors personally have nothing to lose if they wish to raise the devil, but lower classmen will cut their own throats. So let there be a day of quiet, even if some cannot or will not study."

Tags: Campus Life, Faculty, Students


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