Thursday classes only hurt first years

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Over the past couple weeks, you’ve probably had a lot of people ask when you were headed back to school. A few days before I moved back to London, I told a friend of my parents I was heading back during Labour Day weekend, and that we started classes on Thursday. She had one response: Why Thursday?

It’s a good question. Why do we start classes halfway through frosh week? The day seems arbitrary " common sense dictates the university start classes the next Monday rather than chop frosh week in half.

The obvious answer is classes need to get started " there’s learning to be done, lectures to be attended, and God forbid we don’t get through the curriculum.

It seems odd to say those two days are absolutely necessary, though. Can 13 weeks worth of material not fit into 12.5 weeks instead? Thirteen’s a pretty arbitrary number in the first place, determined more by the calendar than on any basis of necessity.

For how many classes does it really even matter? Except for 400-level courses, which are often consolidated to a single day, nearly every class has at least a lecture hour between Monday and Wednesday.

In fact, Monday courses already lose one week during first semester due to Thanksgiving falling on a Monday. If they can handle it, why can’t Thursday and Friday classes?

It’s not an interruption to most of our lives. Students will go to most of their classes on Thursday, even if they still go out on Wednesday night and blow off readings.

Upper-year students already have a circle of friends, so it’s not like they’re busy meeting people. There aren’t any frosh week events for upper years, so scheduling won’t get in the way.

It’s for the first years that classes on Thursday really matter. How much does it suck moving into residence on Monday and having to go to class on Thursday? Suddenly “frosh week” is more like “two days of frosh”.

Why not just move classes back a couple of days? Let first-year students have an entire frosh week. Let them party through the weekend and let them spend their time getting used to life away from home.

Let them go to their first classes with a clear head rather than a sick stomach.

Administration can talk about frosh week being dry, but let’s be honest " half of the frosh are probably drinking as you’re reading these words.

They’re going to get it out of their system, and that might as well happen before courses begin.

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette