On a given Thursday night at the 5Cs, students can usually attend a number of events where alcohol is served, including Thursday Night Club, Symposium, and the Boot.
But weekends at the Claremont Colleges may no longer begin on Thursdays, as curriculum committees at each of the 5Cs have been discussing potential course schedule changes, including more extensive class offerings on Friday mornings and afternoons. The subject arose in part due to the understanding that many of the colleges do not take advantage of possible instruction time on Fridays, as well as a desire to more extensively sync the time schedules of all courses on the 5Cs, Pomona Registrar Margaret Adorno said.
Currently, there are limited seminar times scheduled for Fridays at the 5Cs. The current discussion centers around increasing class time on Fridays in the form of 50-minute classes added to Friday afternoon and seminar classes—defined as 75 or 150 minutes—in the morning, with a suggested time of 9 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.
Further seminar classes will be added to Monday and Wednesday mornings currently filled only by 50-minute classes, and 50-minute classes would be added to Monday and Wednesday afternoons, when currently only seminar classes meet.
The Tuesday and Thursday class schedule would remain unchanged except for moving the two morning seminar classes either five or 10 minutes earlier. Other changes include having 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. classes on Wednesdays and Fridays as well as Mondays and Wednesdays and dropping the 12 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. class time.
According to Adorno, the proposed 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. classes on Wednesdays and Fridays have little to no expected benefit for students, as the new class time does not open up more options for students to take a class at a concurrent time on Mondays and Wednesdays. Instead, the advantage is mostly for faculty, who will have increased options for choosing their course times. This is also true for the additional Friday classes, although these should open up opportunities for students to enroll in more classes during the rest of the week.
Moving the Tuesday and Thursday seminar morning classes earlier by five or ten minutes, as well as standardizing start times across the 5Cs, would allow more travel time for students wishing to take classes on other campuses. Adorno said the additional 50-minute classes on Monday and Wednesday afternoons and seminar classes on Monday and Wednesday mornings were suggested in order to increase options for students during enrollment.
Contrary to earlier discussions, the changes under consideration would bring little disruption to the current course schedules. Earlier plans involved the addition of Monday/Thursday and Tuesday/Friday classes.
Adorno emphasized that Pomona will not change its policy of keeping 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. free from courses to accommodate athletic programs and Tuesday and Thursday evenings reserved for music ensembles to practice.
Regarding the addition of Friday classes, Murielle Munyemana PO ’15 said, “But Friday’s the weekend.”
Many students expressed similar concern over additional Friday classes.
“I really appreciate having free Fridays because having a three-day weekend allows me to have fun while getting all my work done before Monday begins,” Yttrium Sua PO ’15 said.
Some students, however, saw advantages to the changes.
“I don’t think I would mind having some classes moved to Friday since it might open up more class options, and I could have my labs on different days than my science classes,” biology major Andrea Omonte PO ’15 said.
Omonte did acknowledge, however, that the addition of late Friday afternoon classes would affect what people do outside of class.
Students from other campuses are also concerned about the proposed changes. A recent letter to Claremont McKenna College Dean of Students Mary Spellman and CMC Vice President for Student Affairs Jefferson Huang on behalf of the CMC student body praised the college’s tradition of the Monday through Thursday workweek.
Other changes are less controversial.
“12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. classes are the worst,” Clara Engle PO ’15 said. “They’re right during lunchtime, and all I can think of the entire time is food.”
These changes will not be seen for some time. Although each curriculum committee at the 5Cs has met separately, discussion is continuing, and the Academic Deans will meet later to discuss the proposed changes. The soonest any of these changes may go into effect is estimated to be the fall of 2014.
Adorno stressed that the proposed changes are “very under discussion,” and Pomona is unlikely to see more than one or two changes in the next few years.