The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Scheduling Conflict

The University’s planned schedule change for next semester is drawing a mixed reaction from students.

The new schedule eliminates 55-minute classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and replaces them with 80-minute classes on a Monday/Thursday, Tuesday/Friday schedule.

The new schedule will also designate all three-hour classes to Wednesdays and Saturdays, and common hour will take place on Wednesdays instead of Tuesdays and
Thursdays.

“The decrease from two common hours to one a week will disrupt student activities, allowing clubs to meet only once a week or limiting students to one club,” said Kamara Edwards, a junior. “I think this will really hurt student organizations, as well as student life.”

In 2008, University officials announced schedule modifications that were planned for the fall 2009 semester.

Under this plan, 55-minute classes on Mondays and Wednesdays were also removed and replaced with 85- minute classes like those on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

This schedule included the addition of two more common hours bumping them up Mondays through Thursdays.

This schedule plan was postponed for the spring 2010 semester and eventually turned into the latest schedule proposal.

“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,” Julia Upton, University
Provost, told the TORCH Feb. 10.

According to Student Government,
Inc. members, surveys were given to
students last school year asking what
University policies they wanted to see
changed and modifying the class schedule
was the biggest concern.

SGI president Patrick McBurney said
he thinks the new schedule will benefi t
student organizations and should be
looked at as an opportunity.

“Anytime you change the status quo,
there will be some kind of impact,” he
said.

“It’s going to up to the organizations
to make the best of it. The new schedule
should put more of an emphasis on
programming, especially programming at
night.”

Sholanty Taylor, a sophomore, said
she does not like the fact that common
hour will be reduced to once a week.

“The schedule change is going to
cause a lot of frustration for people who
are really involved,” she said.
Katie Belackas, a freshman, also
thinks that student engagement will
suffer.

“I think two common hours are easier
to get involved, having just one day limits
student involvement,” she said.

Upton said that although the changes
might not be popular, it will be benefi cial
to students.

“In the end, it’s not a popularity
contest,” she said in an interview with
the TORCH on Feb. 12. “It’s a decision
based on what’s going to make a better
university.”

“In 80 minutes you can have more
substantial discussion. More students
enroll in these classes and professors
want to teach those classes.”

Jodi Cox, director of Campus
Activities, also stressed the importance of
student organizations taking the initiative
in terms of their programming.

“Since we cannot predict what
will happen, Campus Activities and
ultimately our student leaders will have
to remain open to change and proactive
with our efforts to reach as many students
as possible during our programming
efforts,” she said.

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