Seeing the positives in a schedule change at St. John’s

After a strong negative response from the student body at the academic forum last Tuesday, students received an e-mail two days later from the offices of the University President and Provost regarding the new schedule.

The e-mail stated a proposed schedule change had “been studied and discussed extensively during the past three to four years.” The message also featured an apology that “some members of the student body” were not consulted during the planning phase but went on to say that the new schedule would still go on as proposed for the fall 2010 semester.

While the sudden alteration has left many students feeling frustrated, they should consider the changes at hand before ridiculing the school’s decision.

Though the University should have consulted more students in the decision-making process, this change could benefit St. John’s students in the long run.

At the forum, Dr. Julia Upton, university Provost, reasoned that the new schedule will serve to improve the quality of the academic experience. With 85-minute classes instead of 55-minute classes, students will have more time to delve into deeper discussions during the allotted time. Also, 55-minute classes are almost the same length as high school classes, so longer classes will give students a better feel for being in college.

Within the new schedule, it would also be possible to have off from class three days a week, if planned correctly. If a student planned all of his or her classes during the Monday-Thursday or Tuesday-Friday slots, this would leave plenty of time for an internship or part-time job outside of St. John’s.

The deans also guaranteed that they would do their best to help the students overcome any difficulties that they could possibly encounter. Since registration does not begin for another two weeks, these possible difficulties are very hard to predict.

Since there is very little chance that the new schedule will not be implemented, students should remain calm and look at the positive aspects that the new schedule could bring to St. John’s.

Students should also be more flexible in coping with the new schedule. Talking with academic advisors, heads of departments and deans can all help make the change a little easier for students.

Change may not be so bad after all – it may actually prove to be even better in the long run.

If this change can genuinely improve and provide the students with the very best academic experience possible, they should be willing to give it a chance, before completely disregarding it.