The senior management team’s message to the faculties: Don’t schedule classes on the day of the Regatta

The senior management team urges the faculties not to schedule classes on the day of the Regatta. The faculties will avoid doing so as far as possible, say the vice-deans.

On the day of the Regatta, you won’t have trouble finding a seat in the lecture halls on the Aarhus campus – all the students flock to the University Park instead. The senior management team urges the faculties not to schedule classes on the day of the Regatta. Photo: AU Foto

It happens every spring. The Regatta collides with classes and lectures, which is a headache for both students and their lecturers. Because rescheduling classes can be a cumbersome affair once the timetable has been finalized and the rooms have been booked.

One solution would be to start holding the Regatta on a day off – or excuse the students from classes on the day of the Regatta.

The senior management team discussed the problem at a meeting last fall. According to the minutes of the meeting, the senior management decided to continue allowing the Regatta to take place on a normal working Friday – and not on a bank holiday – on the grounds that holding the Regatta on a day off would be too risky due to the likely size of the audience.

At the same time, the senior management encourages the faculties not to schedule classes on the day of the Regatta.

More easily said than done

In principles, the faculties would like to follow this recommendation. But according to a number of vice-deans , that’s is more easily said than done.

According to Finn Borchsenius, vice-dean for education at the Faculty of Technical Sciences, it wasn’t possible to give students at Tech the day off from classes on the day of the Regatta this year because the date was announced after this semester’s classes had been scheduled.

“We’ll take a look at it next year, but unfortunately, I suspect that it may turn out to be difficult to do in practice, because there are already so many bank holidays in the spring semester that we need to navigate around in our timetabling. But we’ll see what we can do,” Borchsenius said. 

Lise Wogensen Back, vice-dean for education at Health, made a similar point.

“As a general rule, we try not to schedule classes and exams on the day. Aside from clinical training and dental programmes, where it’s not possible for us to remove a Friday every spring, when there are already a lot of bank holiday,” she explained in a mail to Omnibus.

The vice-dean added that there was one programme that was unable to conduct exams on any other day than the Friday of the Regatta this year. So exams were held on the day of the Regatta.

There’s also support for the senior management team’s position at the Faculty of Technical Sciences. But it’s up to the individual departments to decide om giving students the day off is practicable, explained vice-dean for education Kristine Kilså:

“The departments plan and conduct classes, and so it’s up to the departments to decide whether to offer classes on the day of the Regatta.”

Kristine Kilså doesn’t have an overview of how the individual departments dealt with the issue in connection with this year’s Regatta. But she did point out that the date of this year’s Regatta was announced after classes for the spring semester had been scheduled.

Organiser: We contacted studies administration about the date in the fall

Frederik Gautier, who is one of the two event organizers behind this year’s Regatta, told us that he and his partner contacted the studies administration offices at the faculties responsible for timetabling back in the fall and informed them about the date of the 2022 Regatta.

“We made every effort to make sure that the right people were informed about the date before the spring semester was planned, so that they could avoid scheduling classes on the same day as the Regatta,” he said.

“We’ll urge the organizers of next year’s Regatta to do the same,” he said.  

As holy as Christmas Eve

At Aarhus BSS, students always have the day off for the Regatta, according to Morten Rask, the faculty’s vice-dean for education.

“At Aarhus BSs, the day of the Regatta and the day of Denmark’s Biggest Friday Bar are as holy as Christmas Eve – in the sense that we never schedule classes on these days,” he explained.

Omnibus was unable to reach studies administration at Arts for comment before the deadline.

Translated by Lenore Messick