Senate approves consistent model for washroom breaks during exams

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The UVic Senate approved additions to the “Regulation Governing Administration of University Examinations,” which were drafted by the Registrar’s office at the request of the Senate Committee on Academic Standards (SCAS). Associate Dean, Academic and Student Relations Heather Raven presented the additions, which focus on providing a consistent model for the administration of washroom breaks during exams, at the Senate’s Feb. 6 meeting.

“Maintaining academic integrity in the exam environment is essential,” said Lauren Charlton, Registrar, Office of the Registrar, Division of Student Affairs, who originally requested that the SCAS review the University’s exam regulations. “Guidelines need to be transparent for students and instructors.”

The Office of the Registrar specifies that invigilators must ensure the maintenance of an exam’s  academic integrity “for the benefit of the institution and students,” but acknowledges that how this integrity is accomplished through monitoring  “may vary by faculty, instructor, and discipline.”

On the topic of washroom breaks, the Registrar asserts that students will be expected to limit the number they take during an examination so as not to disrupt other students “due to the increased opportunity for a violation of the Policy on Academic Integrity,” which can occur during a break. Washroom breaks will be limited to one student at a time, and invigilators may escort students to and from the bathroom or record the duration of their break.

These changes will also apply to deferred and supplemental examinations.

“We are pleased that these additions are now clearly articulated in the calendar regulations,” said Charlton.

The Office of the Registrar intends to follow up on the Senate’s approval by informing all departments of the undated calendar regulations and presenting this information on the cover page for their examination booklet and on their website.

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