YES – 95.5% (2360 votes)
NO – 4.5% (106 votes)
The results are clear, less than 5% of voters are content with the current three day break.
In the Facebook post, QUT Guild President Vinnie Batten pointed out that “prior to 2014, this was a period of 5 days.”
“There is nothing that actually formally entitles us to SWOTVAC at all at the moment, or stops the uni further changing or reducing it on a whim,” Mr Batten said.
Here’s what students said.
Many students opened up about how this stressful part of semester impacts their mental health.
“My mental health goes out the window.”
“The university still has up its “R U OK” banners and yet uses purely academic statistics to form their argument. That’s incredibly disappointing and makes me feel like a number not a student.” – QUT Guild Gender and Sexuality Vice-President Max Fox.
“Seems QUT doesn’t care about my mental health at all.”
Allocating time to study for exams
Some students pointed out that in this period of semester, little time to finalise assignments and study for exams is not fun, especially when most of your exams are in the first few days.
“The bulk of exams I’ve had seem to be right at the beginning of exam period. This, combined with only 3 days of SWOTVAC means sometimes I … have barely any time to revise for what is sometimes four exams.”
“I normally have my first 2 exams on the same day and normally within the first day or two of exams. Just one or two extra days would massively help me.”
One comment pointed out that students completing practical components “usually done in week 13,” leaves “zero downtime to mentally switch off and then prep to go from a prac exam block to theory. Not to mention 3 days is less than 24 hours per exam if you’re doing full time.”
An academic even chimed in, pointing out that a five-day SWOTVAC “would mean I have more time to mark assessments fairly,” before exams begin.
In this 2015 UQ Union survey on SWOTVAC, 83% of respondents voted against reducing the period from five days to three, with only 8% for the decrease. Over 93% of respondents also said that if the period was decreased, they’d be worried about the lack of time to study and learn material from the end of semester. These figures are very close to the polls conducted by Mr Batten.