Cramfest is a Sham

Cramfest+has+been+a+staple+of+freshman+study-time+for+years+now--but+is+it+actually+helpful+or+is+it+just+another+sham%3F

Jac McCarty

Cramfest has been a staple of freshman study-time for years now--but is it actually helpful or is it just another sham?

Cramfest is Boulder High’s annual tradition of gathering the Panther Pride leaders, teachers and freshmen together to better prepare students for their first semester finals. This seems like a pretty good idea — we’re doing everything we can to set our freshmen up for success for their first set of real finals, right?

Wrong.

Cramfest has  good intention s, but it is really just a glorified excuse to give freshmen pizza. I am not in Panther Pride, so I interviewed a group of four anonymous Panther Pride leaders in order to gain a better understanding of the work that went into the big day.

One senior told me that “literally nothing” happened at Cramfest. Another  said that freshmen were there for the wrong reasons. They all agreed that the freshmen were almost entirely self-sufficient, making their time spent at Cramfest unrewarding and almost useless.

The biggest issue that came up with Cramfest this year was the fact that teachers began “rebelling” against it. Freshmen told their Panther Pride leaders that the teachers they needed to speak with weren’t going to show up. This makes the whole event seem even more pointless.

Speaking with the organizers behind Cramfest solidified my disillusionment in the school-sanctioned event. From what they said, it became clear to me that it wasn’t very helpful for kids or Panther Pride leaders — the only resource the kids really needed to use was their teachers, some of whom weren’t even there.

What students really need is time that teachers are willing to provide on a regular basis to support their kids, not an extra three hours on a Thursday in December.

Doesn’t this sound like advisory?

I wrote an opinion piece early on in the school year pointing out the fundamental flaws our new schedule has brought to this weekly study time. Unfortunately, our students may be left needing to cram given the ineffective role advisory plays at Boulder High this year. Our freshmen most likely haven’t been able to utilize this time, mainly because the largest block of time for seeing teachers is during freshman seminar.

Instead of opting for a last-ditch effort to academically support the newest members of the Boulder High community as we head into finals, we should implement systems that work from day one.