New community hours in place for next semester - The Echo News
Via Ad

New community hours in place for next semester

New policy focuses on community involvement

Class schedules are important for any student and their college experience. (Photograph by Riley Hochstetler)

Class schedules are important for any student and their college experience. (Photograph by Riley Hochstetler)

By Hannah Stumpf | Echo

A new policy, the Enrollment and Athletic Committee (EAC) Community Hours Policy, will be effective starting Fall 2018. This will implement a no-class zone from the times of 4 to 7 p.m Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and 3:30 to 6 p.m on Tuesday and Thursday. It failed to pass in December 2016 by a small margin, but it passed by a larger margin December 2017.

The policy was proposed by Ryan James, a member of the Department for Student Development. While this may at first seem like a policy meant specifically for athletes, students involved in other co-curricular and extracurricular activities will benefit also.

The EAC found that many schools implement similar scheduling blocks. Each department will be expected to comply with the policy, although some departments will have more challenges adhering. One such department that will face difficulties is film.

“Faculty in the film (and) media production program are not opposed to the policy in theory,” said art, film and media department co-chair and assistant professor of film and media production Kathy Bruner. “However, we will probably be unable to comply with the policy in practice. We share one Mac lab and limited classroom space with the communication department, and we will have difficulty clearing that 4–6 p.m. window and still accommodating all the classes that need to be taught in those spaces.”

The primary purpose of the policy is to ensure all students have flexible schedules and can complete their degrees within four years. In addition, students should be able to become involved in extracurricular activities.

Some such extracurricular activities are theatre. Sophomore Daniel McHenney has been involved in several Taylor productions in various capacities.

“We do have it where sometimes we’re closer to the performance, and our call times will be 5:45,” McHenney said. “We tell our professors beforehand and get an excused absence. It will be nice to be able to go to practices and performances without worrying about missing classes and material that we’re learning.”

Of course, student athletes may be the group affected the most. Per current athletic policy, student athletes are excused for sanctioned athletic competitions only. No student is ever given permission (by coaches or otherwise) to miss any portion of class for athletic practices.

Junior Miriam Wood, a member of the track team and bio/pre-med major, found the new policy a positive step for student athletes. When a class conflicts with a practice time, it is up to the student athletes to get in the hours, even if it means practicing alone.

“As far as conflicting with schedules, it does kind of affect being with the team, and especially support and encouragement,” Wood said. “ Practice can be exhausting, so just having that support and having people cheer for you and keep you going is way easier with the team when you’re doing a workout. So I’d say missing that team bonding time and not being around the team, if done enough, can definitely take a toll.”

The EAC standard daytime academic hours would be (M/W/F 8 a.m.–4 p.m.) (T/R 8 a.m.–3:30 p.m.) and standard evening academic hours (M/W/F 7–10 p.m.) (T/R 6–10 p.m.) with the resulting 3-hour (MWF) and 2.5-hour (TR) block of time specifically dedicated for co-curricular and extracurricular activities.

If there is a situation in which a scheduling conflict is inevitable, exceptions will be finalized by deans and the registrar. 
This will not be a common occurrence. Departments, deans, coaches and the registrar will work in conjunction to schedule time blocks and solve scheduling conflicts.

Comments are closed.