College mandates more Friday classes

By Kelly Finlan
November 20, 2003

Angelina Wagner

As the bells chimed three o’clock, a lone student roamed the second-floor corridor in Founders Hall. All the classrooms are empty. All the students are gone for the weekend.

Cabrini College is one of hundreds of American schools suffering from a severe disinterest in Friday classes.

“If I had to [take Friday classes] I would. If I was desperate I would,” Christina Gentile, a freshman math and secondary education major, said. Gentile, like an increasing number of students, currently has more than one Friday class.

The administration recently passed a mandate in response, requiring 25 percent of all undergraduate classes to be held on Fridays.

“The reasons for it are threefold,” Dr. Catherine O’Connell, the dean of Academic Affairs, said.

Including Friday as a full academic day allows classrooms and equipment to be used more efficiently, according to O’Connell. This includes parking spaces, which are increasingly scarce Monday through Thursday.

According to O’Connell, the increase of Friday classes will stem the tide of students leaving on the weekends. “We think that if students do not have classes on Fridays, going home for a long weekend becomes a more attractive option, and we would like for students to have the full college experience which includes being involved in weekend campus activities,” O’Connell said.

“I never noticed any mass exodus on Fridays,” Dr. Joseph Romano, a philosophy professor, said.

“It is true that we have heard that Thursday nights are sometimes problematic,” O’Connell said. She, as well as many other staff members, has expressed the need for students to treat college as a “full-time job, which means five days of work,” O’Connell said.

“Hopefully that will do something for the behavioral patterns on Thursdays,” Charlie Schaffner, the director of Public Safety, said. Schaffner consistently schedules more officers to be on duty on Thursday nights.

Enrollment for classes at the end of the workweek is slightly lower than that of those Monday through Thursday, but none have had to be canceled.

“Once students realize that, for the most part, avoiding Friday classes is impossible, I think the problem will resolve itself,” O’Connell said.

“I’m going to try my hardest not to,” Megan O’Neil, a freshman English/communications major, said.

“I never made an attempt to avoid taking Friday classes,” senior Rich Magda, an English/communications major, said. “I regret it only because of my attendance record in those courses.”

I always give my tests on Fridays so for at least three Fridays out of the semester I have perfect attendance,” Dr. James Hedtke, a history and political science professor, said. Hedtke has noticed a slight drop off in the attendance of his Friday classes, but the “cut policy” in his core courses keeps the seats filled.

Posted to the web by Angelina Wagner

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