Exclusive: Queens’ Tutor Tries To Scrap Fresher’s Week

Queens’ Senior Tutor proposes replacing Fresher’s Week next year with an ‘academic alignment’ period.

Cambridge charlie bell Freshers Week fun blockade James Kelly Queen's College Queens'

Queens’ Senior Tutor, Dr. James Kelly, is proposing to BAN Fresher’s Week.

In an Open Meeting for the JCR, Kelly said he hoped Fresher’s Week will be renamed “Queens’ Academic Alignment Week” next year.

The move is an attempt to encourage students to have a “more academic approach to college life”.

Kelly said it will involve a “two stage operation”, with “repeated exercises…throughout the year” all aimed at promoting “academic responsibility”.

One day in the proposed programme includes seven and a half hours of academic and college contact time, with a measly two hour-long breaks for meals.

Other nights include talks until 10pm by college bursars and an hour and a half library induction.

Here’s a taster of the fun filled activities 2011’s freshers may have in store…
* two and a half hour “Teaching and Learning” lecture
* two hour “Discipline and Safety” talk
* one and a half hour “Bursars’ lecture”
* one hour “Time management” sesh

Seven and an half of these mandatory sessions are also between 7-10pm, in an attempt some have labelled as a “fun blockade”.

Dr. Kelly defended the proposals, saying that the programme will make sure freshers turn up on time to meetings, lectures and supervisions.

He claimed that colleges across the university were considering similar schemes in an attempt to “combat the growing cost of wasted time by faculties” because of student lateness.

Kelly called it a “conservative approach”, compared to other universities.

The SCR present were forced to admit many freshers were late to their DoS meetings, despite being given a time management lecture earlier that week.

Queens’ first year, Ben Sharples, said that the lectures themselves were “ironically a waste of time”.

Welfare concerns have been raised about the changes. Gemma, a third year at Queens’ told The Tab that “too much academic focus so early on is not welcoming but daunting.”

“The social aspect of Queens’ was definitely one of the reasons I chose Queens’ over other colleges.

“The new plans will definitely deter applicants.”

Queens’ JCR members expressed anger at the college’s inflexibility around the issue.

In a letter to the student body, JCR President, Charlie Bell, said the plans “need to be looked at”.

He added that “keeping freshers busy until 10pm on their first day of lectures may have welfare considerations.”

The news comes as Queens’ slipped five places in the Tompkin’s Table this year, coming in at a disappointing 17th.