For the past few years, the St. John’s administration has held discussions about the possibility of changing the current way classes are scheduled.
If the new schedule was to be implemented, classes would meet either Monday and Wednesday, or Tuesday and Thursday for 85 minutes each. This would eliminate the 55-minute classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The schedule change would also feature three-hour classes on Friday, as well as additional common hours on Monday and Wednesday.
But this schedule change has already been postponed several times, for good reason. One of the main factors, the construction of the D’Angelo Center, has pushed the idea to the background. Had the D’Angelo Centre opened this fall, it would have provided the University with the extra classroom space it needed in order for the new schedule to run effectively.
While there are no set plans to switch over to the new class schedule, the D’Angelo Center set to open soon and the University should consider making this change because there are numerous reasons why it would have a positive impact on the student body.
First, the schedule change would make it easier for students to have Fridays off. Not only would this give students a longer weekend, it would also allow them more free time to pursue part-time jobs or internships.
If extra common hours were introduced on Mondays and Wednesdays, students would also have more time to get involved in extra-curricular activities. Since common hour is currently only twice a week, many organizations meet on the same day; two more common hours would allow their meetings to be more spread out, so that students could join more than one organization. The new schedule would also benefit commuter students. With a more flexible way to plan their schedules, commuters would be able to take fewer trips to campus, saving time.
Nonetheless, opposition to the idea may arise from students who do not want to spend 30 extra minutes in each class. Yet, the idea should not be thrown away because of students who are easily bored during class. According to Dr. Julia Upton, university provost, longer classes are pedagogically better because during the shorter, 55-minute classes, many students become concerned with “getting it over with.”
Clearly, this possible new schedule change is designed to benefit both faculty and students in order for them to get the best use of their time spent on campus.