Faculty Senate should reject Apple's class proposal
New Provost calls for tightening of classroom utilization and increased attendance
Published: Monday, September 28, 2009
Updated: Monday, September 28, 2009 19:09
On Sept. 14 at the university Faculty Senate meeting, Provost Tom Apple proposed a change to class schedules that would lengthen the academic week. The change would limit courses to twice a week and add Saturday classes.
The proposition originated from inquiries about classroom utilization and demand for additional pressure on students to attend classes.
According to the university's deputy provost, Havidán Rodríguez, classroom space is utilized most effectively during 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while early mornings and late afternoons are consideraby lower. The latter issue, however, stems from the lack of attendance on Fridays due to Thursday night social activities.
The Senate acts for the entire faculty in coordinating faculty governance at the university. A vote from its members is the only thing standing in the way of this type of change.
Discussions have been initiated between the Faculty Senate and all seven college deans and preliminary conversations will begin shortly to discuss effective utilization of university classrooms.
As this decision's repercussions have the ability to personally affect them, students should have a voice in this decision. Although many students may be out partying on Thursday nights, there are also a portion who are not. There should not be schoolwide accountability.
Although students should attend their Friday lectures, they are all adults, capable of making the conscious decision to attend or not. They accept the risks when their choice is made. It is also more than likely that if students are already deciding to not attend their Friday courses, they will not attend class on Saturday. If professors have problems with dwindling attendance, they should take that into consideration when creating their syllabi and attendance should be mandatory to pass their courses.
At the same time, students do have a life outside of the classroom. Two out of seven days is a fair allotment for personal time. Aside from traveling home on weekends, many students are involved in equally beneficial extracurricular activities, such as community service, sports, clubs, organizations and other events. Professors, too, have lives. Those who travel from major metropolitan areas may not find it appealing to lose their Saturdays or personal lives.