Changes made to All-College Hour faces few objections

GENESEO, N.Y. - Beginning in the Fall '07 semester, the College will switch the All-College Hour block from Thursday to Wednesday in an attempt to ease scheduling conflicts.

The current time slot is from 12:45 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. on Thursday afternoons, which, according to Provost Katherine Conway-Turner, competes heavily with classes that require a longer time block or require a two-day schedule. The new time slot will be Wednesdays from 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

"It is both impossible and impractical to hold this time-slot open and at the same time meet the academic needs of our students," Conway-Turner said in an e-mail to students. She also noted that out of necessity, the College regularly schedules some labs during the current All-College Hour block. For reasons such as this, the decision was made to change the All College Hour in order to meet the scheduling needs of students.

Last year, Conway-Turner held open forums to discuss the possibility of such a time change, meeting with campus groups that usually hold meetings during the current time block and other members of the campus community.

The provost noted that the meaning of the All-College Hour has gotten lost, since many use the time slot for regular meetings and programs. She said that the original purpose of the hour was "to provide a time when students and faculty would be free from classes to participate in an educational event with broad appeal to our entire community."

Conway-Turner will also be creating an All-College Hour Committee to develop and promote College-sanctioned events. The committee will consist of two faculty members, two Student and Campus Life staff members, and two students who will work together to develop a focus for events and speakers.

Some of the concerns brought up during discussions involved not making the All-College Hour too late in the day, making sure it didn't conflict with athletics, being able to preserve the time so all students could attend if they wished, making sure students/staff/faculty could use the hour for regular business as well as special events, and making sure it was in the middle part of the day to accommodate Geneseo Organization for Leadership Development (GOLD) events.

To address these concerns, Conway-Turner said that "an alternative time would better meet the needs of class scheduling and preserve a time for All-College events."

Many students interviewed felt that the time change won't directly affect them, and that their schedules currently prevent them from participating in All-College Hour events.

According to Conway-Turner, there have been few to no complaints over the proposed change. "I have heard very little since the message went out," she said. "One student wished for a schedule that ended earlier in the day." There have been positive comments as well. "A few faculty members indicated it would give more flexibility to class scheduling, and one student has volunteered to be on the committee to consider a theme for All-College Hour next year," she said.

The new time slot will continue to be evaluated as time goes by to ensure the All College Hour meets the needs of the campus community. "I believe this change represents an improvement that will permit us better to schedule courses to meet the needs of our students while also maintaining a regular time during the normal week for non-class activities," Conway-Turner said.