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Are UI officials right to push for an increase in Friday classes?

BY DI EDITORIAL STAFF | MARCH 31, 2010 7:30 AM

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YES

For many years on this campus, Fridays have been just another extension of the weekend for students. No classes at 8:30 Friday mornings means a long night of partying Thursday that continues into the weekend.

However, with the Faculty Council and Faculty Senate’s increasing support for more Friday classes, the three-day weekend students enjoy may become nonexistent.

And that’s the way it should be.

Last time I checked, Fridays are still considered a part of the school week. I understand the inclination to want more free time. As college students, we are always searching for the next break from tests and term papers. But if having more classes on Fridays will slow the chaos of our drinking culture, then that’s an option we should seriously consider adopting.

This potential remedy may not be welcomed by a few people, and their reasons are justified.

Students need money to pay for their schooling and may work on Fridays. They have my sympathy, and my argument is not centered on their attempt to survive the burden of college debt. Instead, we need to focus on those who indulge on alcohol to excess on Thursday nights and use their free Fridays to recover from their drunken passivity.

The intentions of the university administration are not to abolish the consumption of alcohol or hinder personal choice. Instead, this would increase accountability.

Thousands of students will graduate in May, and some will move onto jobs that require Friday attendance. Changing social behavior does not happen in a day’s time; it needs to start when we first step on this campus. If we are all preparing for our future, what standards do we set when we engage in behavior that will hurt us in the future?

Friday classes are not something anyone enjoys — me included — but if they work to separate us from our issues with alcohol, then it’s a step in the right direction.

— by Michael Davis

NO

First of all, I admit I am not a saint when it comes to “Thirsty Thursday.” Sorry, I party.
Yet what student can resist Thursday drink specials on a student budget?

Personally, I have yet to miss a single Friday class because of drinking too much. Consequently, I wish the university would respect my educational and work needs and let me create a schedule accordingly.

Many students have numerous jobs, take 15 to 17 semester hours, and participate in many extracurricular activities. With all that, we don’t need UI administrators becoming a second set of parents. While someone may only have one class on Friday, such a situation presents a scheduling problem for the student’s employer, who cannot schedule her or him in a two- to three-hour time frame.

Scheduling more Friday classes will punish students who streamline their schedules because they need Friday to work, catch up on academics, or make time for those all-important extracurricular activities for their résumés.

Admittedly, scheduling more Friday classes is a better-targeted method for curbing binge drinking than the 21-ordinance. Yet increasing Friday classes leads to unintended consequences — namely, a race to the bottom, through catering to the students who are the least responsible.

If the university did not think a student could be responsible enough to handle a day without class, why did it admit her or him? Why punish those who drink responsibly, work hard, and practice good time management?

I’d like to end this argument with an analogy. All of us have taken classes in which the instructors was completely oblivious to the fact one might be taking other classes and, consequently, could not make their classes a 40-hour-a-week commitment. In the same light, scheduling more Friday classes assumes that all students do nothing but attend class and can commit all five days to solely attending class.

— by Jonathan Groves


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