New schedule changes discussed by university senate

Photo credit: The Maroon

Photo credit: The Maroon

Sidney Holmes

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The university senate gathered to discuss proposed class scheduling changes, including potential new two-week intersession periods in January and May, in an emergency meeting on Thursday. Sept. 28.

The terms, referred to as J-terms and May terms, would allow students to take a six-hour-long class Monday through Thursday for two weeks. To make room for these extra terms, the proposed schedule would shorten the fall and spring semesters to 14 weeks, instead of the current 16-week semester. The length of classes would increase to make up for the loss of those weeks.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes would increase to one hour, instead of the current 50 minutes. Monday and Wednesday classes and Tuesday and Thursday classes would be 90 minutes, instead of the current 75. Single-day classes would be three hours long. The possible time slots for classes would be reduced to between 15 and 19 slots available for students to schedule.

Faculty voiced many concerns about the proposed changes, including the ability to hold students’ attention and the effects on their mental health. The Biology Department questioned how the schedule would affect lab times. Other senators wondered how it would impact working students’ schedules outside of school.

Senators proposed alternatives to the schedule changes, such as shortening the Easter and Mardi Gras breaks or starting the fall semester one week early and returning for the spring semester one week later.

The university senate voted to postpone its decision until they have more time to explore possible options. The schedule for the fall 2018 semester must be finalized by March.

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