Schedule changes and less classes in fall

St. John’s will be changing the class schedule format in the fall semester, according to an e-mail sent out Monday from University President Rev. Donald J. Harrington.

In the e-mail, Harrington explains the need to alter the current schedule “to a more flexible format of Monday/Thursday and Tuesday/Friday.”

The new schedule will also fit in three-hour classes on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

These days, Harrington said, will also allow more time for service projects and special activities.

“The revised schedule will provide more effective teaching time frames and greater flexibility for both students and faculty while increasing classroom utilization by 15 percent,” said Harrington.

The e-mail also states that the “number of sections offered each semester will be reduced by carefully cycling courses, rotating electives, and reducing or eliminating under-enrolled courses.

University provost, Dr. Julia Upton said on Tuesday that the University has been working on the schedule changes for the past two years, but the initial idea is quite different from the final plan.

“We had Friday and Saturday as the days with three-hour blocks,”
Upton said.

“There was a concern with that, that it would become a four-day University, and students didn’t want that to be happening, and student life didn’t want that to be happening.”

Students have mixed feelings toward the schedule change.

“I’m pretty unaffected by it, but I would like to have two common hours,” said Bill Baptiste, a junior.

“I would have preferred if they would have kept the same schedule because I like 55-minute classes.”

Upton also said that students were elemental to the change.

She said there is “a large cohort of students” who would prefer the new schedule, since it requires them to be on campus less often.

Brittney Desrouleaux, a junior, feels that the new schedule will not mesh well with her activities.

“If I want to go to one meeting, there might be a meeting with another organization that I am part of so it will be hard to balance everything,” she said.

The e-mail also noted a growth in distant-learning courses.

“To respond to the growing student demand for distance-learning courses and leverage our substantial investment in technology, we will significantly expand distance-learning offerings over the next two years,” said Harrington.