Block scheduling debate continues

The College Senate may soon be presented with a revised version of the proposed block scheduling plan, that, if approved, will be implemented in the fall 2009 semester.

The plan's revision was incited by the issues brought up during discussions with faculty and staff regarding the original proposal, which sought to minimize class overlap and eliminate scheduling conflicts for students. Information sessions on Nov. 7 and Nov. 10 allowed members of the college community to ask questions about and make suggestions for the proposal.

"The goal is to get everyone back on the same schedule at certain times during the day," said Dean of the College Polly Radosh. The blocks would begin at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Beginning the day at 8 a.m. also allows for one more time slot than currently exists, a perk for student athletes who would have more options for scheduling classes before practice.

Labs and four credit classes pose the biggest challenge to the proposal. According to Radosh, labs would ideally begin at the top of the hour in an attempt to keep them within the blocks as much as possible. Four credit classes such as math and the Western Humanities requirements, would meet three or four days a week for different amounts of time.

Another conflict block scheduling might face is the education curriculum which, like labs and four credit courses, do not fit perfectly into the blocks.

"Education blocks are always a problem on every college campus," said Radosh.

The proposal does not hope to eliminate the all-college free hour as previously discussed, but instead moves it to 2 p.m.

Evening classes will not be affected by the proposal due to their lack of overlapping conflicts, although a suggestion at the meeting to have a block at 6 p.m. may be considered to accommodate athletic practices.

Few students attended the meeting, but those who did were opposed to various parts of the plan.

"We don't like 8 a.m. classes," said sophomore Emily Wagenhauser.

Sophomore Greg Totero said he did not think the plan would fix any issues with labs and four credit classes.

"Four and five hour labs just don't fit," he said. "It's impossible." He also said he disagrees with the reasoning behind the change. "I feel like everyone deals with their conflicts," he said.

Freshman Holly Garrison never heard about the meetings or about the proposal itself.

"I think they should definitely publicize it more," she said. As far as registration, Garrison said she did not have problems "in terms of things block scheduling could fix."

"I knew they were having [meetings], but I didn't know when or where," said junior Lindsay Randall. She said she thought the schedule change sounded more complicated than the current schedule.

"I think it would be hard to implement so that students understand it," she said.

The block scheduling proposal is available to view online at