Students Adjust to Earlier Morning Classes

UT administrators enforced a 30 minute time change for Tuesday/Thursday morning courses ostensibly to accommodate for classroom space in the school’s growing community.

Many UT students were surprised to see 8:00 a.m. classes on their schedule as opposed to the usual 8:30 a.m. Even more surprising was the circulation of the rumor that 8:00 a.m. classes were created in an effort to keep students from weeknight partying and to reduce the usage of alcohol on campus.

“My roommates and I heard that it’s going around school that the administration has enforced 8:00 a.m. classes to keep students from going out during the week and to stop the students from drinking,” said UT junior Krysten Benoit.

University Registrar Leslie-Sutton Smith brought forth the issue of changing the class times to the faculty with the future of UT in mind.

“This decision was made upon my suggestion as the scheduler of classes because it was a relatively small change that could affect a large outcome,” she explained. “In the past, the H and P section overlapped for four credit courses so that the classroom space could only be used half that time. As the University has grown, so has the need for classroom space and the importance of scheduling to maximize our space.”

The H section four credit courses ran from 2:30 to 4:20 p.m., and the P section four credit courses ran from 4:00 – 5:50 p.m. The Tuesday/Thursday schedule has to start at 8:00 a.m. for those sections to be able to meet accordingly.

After being informed of the actual reason for the class schedule change, Benoit agreed that it makes sense for class times to change due to the school’s growth. However, this new schedule isn’t necessarily making things any easier on students.

“With the amount of work professors expect us to complete each night, it is not unreasonable to be up past midnight trying to complete it all,” said junior Caley Webber. “Research has shown that we need at least eight hours of sleep each night, and by making classes earlier it affects that rhythm.”

All academic departments were taken into equal consideration in this matter. UT faculty accepted this change and professors put their 8:00 a.m. courses into action at the start of the spring ’07 semester.

“I have always been a morning worker, but being older I don’t have as much energy as I used to, but it frees my afternoons up for writing,” said UT English Professor Wayne Miller. “However, on a more practical note, I beat the traffic.”

First year adjunct biology professor Alicia Fox teaches in the 12:00 to 1:20 p.m. slot, however, she wouldn’t mind morning sessions if UT asked her to move. According to Fox, throughout her six years of teaching, most of the college campuses she has taught at have started at 8:00 a.m.

Smith also mentioned that this is not the first time change has been instituted in the class schedule grid. Around the late 1990s, changes were made to fit three as well as four credit courses. UT now evaluates its schedule patterns every semester to make sure their classroom space is being properly dispersed.

Leave a Reply

Back To Top