St. John’s is announcing some adjustments to the schedule they implemented last semester after a recent survey and reevaluation of student and faculty opinion.
Dr. Julia Upton, provost of the University, told the Torch in an interview that several changes will be made to the current schedule, including the reinstatement of Finals Week.
Last week, a survey appeared on St. John’s Central asking students if they were in favor of reinstating Finals Week at the cost of increasing weekly class time. Students voted to make the change, which will now increase Monday/Thursday and Tuesday/Friday classes to 85 minutes, a five-minute difference from the current time.
“The survey was pretty clear and confirmed what we already knew,” said Upton, noting that faculty were also given a similar survey. Both polls had been created by a committee by University president Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M. last April.
The survey did not mention the changing of the time and day of common hour, which Upton confirmed would be Mondays/Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. starting next semester.
During this time, there will be no 85-minute classes, although Upton stated that labs would unavoidably run through the break.
Currently, common hour falls on Wednesdays from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. It had previously been on Tuesdays/Thursdays from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
When the schedule change was revealed last year, students and faculties expressed dismay and concerns, particularly over the potential damage of the loss of common hour.
Many believed that student organizations would suffer most because students would be hard pressed to find time in the new schedule for meetings. Dr. Upton did not see any problem with this over the trial semester.
“I don’t think Campus Activities suffered because of [the loss of common hour], they found more creative ways to meet,” she said.
Students are having mixed reactions to the changes. Most are in favor of the return of Finals Week, while others are opposed to bringing back common hour.
Nicole Budine, a sophomore, said that she was in favor of a Finals Week because it eliminated problems with time during exams.
“During a finals week we used to have two hours to take a final,” she said. “Some finals are rushed when you take them during a class period.”
Budine also said that having common hour twice a week will help her attend club meetings that may have previously overlapped.
Sonali Patel, a sophomore, stills wants to go back to the old schedule, but believes these improvements will make it a little easier on students.
“I prefer [Finals Week] because it gives you more time to prepare for exams and study,” she said. “Also, classes during finals week of instruction aren’t necessarily helpful, I believe studying by ourselves using that time is more beneficial for students.”