CSUN should redesign scheduling policies to better suit students’ needs

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I have been informed that an ad hoc committee at CSUN is looking into changing CSUN’s course scheduling blocks because some faculty have been “unhappy” with our current one, among other reasons.

For me personally, I have always been slightly annoyed at some of the current scheduling blocks this university has had.

Ever since I came to CSUN, I would cringe when I saw a very interesting or mandatory course I wanted or had to take that landed on Mondays, Wednesdays and – Fridays.

“Aww man, not a Friday,” I would think to myself in disappointment. One semester I would think “I have to work a lot of hours on Friday,” or another semester I would tell myself, “I just want to relax on that day – not go to class.” (I know it sounds a little whiny, but several of you know that you’ve had similar thoughts).

If I had to take the course, however, I had no choice but to enroll in it – kicking and screaming. You have to do what you have to do, right?

Scheduling may change, but some of the proposals seem like they would hurt rather than help.

A proposal that would bring three-hour classes to Fridays and Saturdays would be terrible. I do not think there are many people out there who would like to spend their weekend at school.

Having classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays (or Monday and Wednesday) that last for about one hour and 20 minutes is great Those classes are perfect, at least for me and several other students, because they are balanced – not too short or long. Why fix something that isn’t broken?

It would be nice if changes in our course scheduling system were made that way. It may not be perfect, but it sure is close.

There is nothing drastically wrong with our course scheduling right now. If I were to go through my last semester taking classes with a Monday, Wednesday and Friday pattern, that would not be a major problem. But it would still bother me.

Neither would it be a major problem if I had those long, once-a-week night courses in my schedule, but it is slightly annoying. So working out a scheduling block that can give students the choice to take three night courses in two days would be awesome.

Saturday classes are not even an option for me. Speaking of such a thing should almost always be avoided. Having the option to take Saturday (and Friday) courses would be still be a hassle but the preferable alternative.

I would love to see one of the course scheduling patterns change to Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, mainly because Fridays are very important to several students on campus as a non-school day. It is known as the beloved day of the week, the beginning of our three-day weekend. Having Friday classes just does not fly for several people.

A small part of what should attract someone to a college should be convenient scheduling. Having classes at undesirable times would put a damper on the college experience. Something can be worked out.

Although not all changes are good, with the right balance, I think this could improve the university’s course scheduling system, which will in effect make several more faculty, staff and especially students happy.

Sam Richard can be reached at samuel.richard@csun.edu.