Times A-Changin’

Cartoon by Julie Gundersen.
Cartoon by Julie Gundersen.
Cartoon by Julie Gundersen.

Recently, the SUNY New Paltz Department of Enrollment Management made the decision to extend the time between classes from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. As a result, the start time of classes, excluding 8 a.m. classes, will begin five minutes later than they currently do.

We at The New Paltz Oracle believe this to be a welcome change in class-time scheduling. With the increased availability of classroom space as academic buildings re-open after undergoing renovation, students face greater possibility of having to travel between multiple buildings throughout the day to attend class.

A five minute extension between class times will help mitigate this problem and provide ample opportunity for students both on and off — campus to reach their respective destinations, print last minute assignments or simply drop off some books that are no longer needed for the day.

Professors and commuter students will now have a larger time gap to find parking spaces that become open between classes or to compensate for inclement weather scenarios — both on the road and walkways. Professors also receive the benefit of being able to address student concerns and questions after class without the feeling of having to rush to the next classroom.

It is a known fact that scheduling for certain class sections has become increasingly limited, making for schedule options with narrow flexibility if students plan to graduate on time. Many students’ class enrollment has them confronted with blocks of back-to-back classes that, besides being mentally exhausting, can be physically exhausting when a student is forced to rush to classes that may be on the opposite side of campus. The increased time allows for a more leisurely break, which students can use to refresh themselves with food, drink and hygienic concerns — human necessities that may or may not be ignored when caught in the current of college hysteria.

One negative, however, is that the sum of the time extensions between classes is equal to one potential class time slot which will be lost because of this change. The loss of this period will only further to tighten the opportunities students have to fit their required courses into their schedules and progress at a steady pace toward degree completion. We hope that Enrollment Management is aware of this issue and will actively work to address this concern by ensuring there are little to no schedule conflicts of required classes within departments.

The time change will serve as a convenient benefit for those whose daily routines involve moving to and from classrooms in a punctual fashion. The five minute increase, while seemingly insignificant, allows for a wider range of tasks to be completed in short duration at a comfortable pace. Foot traffic congestion on campus around the start of classes will decrease as a result and students can rest easy knowing they have an extra few minutes to grab a cookie and a coffee — something that no one could be opposed to.