The times and days classes will be offered will change next semester. The same amount of Friday classes will be offered as Monday and Wednesday classes. We’ll see many more Monday/Friday classes and Wednesday/Friday classes being offered, and 8 a.m. classes will be pushed a half-hour as well. One of the reasons? Miami University students are drinking too much. Interesting. Yes, we found this one hard to wrap our heads around, too.
The editorial board at The Miami Student agrees this is a step backward for Miami. There are many more students that will be put at a disadvantage by this change and there are plenty of reasons why we don’t support this tweak of course offerings.
To start, the option of a three-day weekend is vital to many students as well as faculty. Take the second-semester senior for example. This past semester he/she didn’t have classes on Fridays and was able to travel to Chicago, Washington D.C., Cleveland and so on to interview with various companies. Since corporate offices are normally not open on the weekend, the student was able to make it to the interview on Friday without having to skip class. But now, Miami University is removing the regularity of the three-day weekend…do you see where we’re going with this one?
And it’s not just students; many professors travel to conferences and seminars on the weekends, and on top of that traveling on Thursday is simply much easier and more efficient.
Many students also enjoy the teaching style of a certain professor, for example, and want to take another class of theirs the following semester, but with the changes in scheduling options, many students will find this difficult or impossible to do. A lot of Miami students work part-time, and some at odd hours. They know they need a class schedule fitting to their student job, but next semester, some students may be forced to quit their jobs, simply because they won’t fit it into their schedules.
Taking away the option of a three-day weekend for many students and staff is extremely inconvenient, especially because the reasons for doing so are simply to stop students from drinking.
We say students who schedule their semester around drinking, partying and sleeping are not going to be responsible once these changes happen. They are going to drink anyway, even if that means skipping class to do so. We thought of a more logical solution: what if professors were required to take class attendance? That seems like a more efficient way to make sure kids are in class.
Rather than spoon-feeding us responsibility, Miami should allow us to learn how to make responsible choices on our own. A student who says, “I know I’m not a morning person, so I’m not going to register for an 8 a.m. class because I know I’ll never make it,” is making an honest, responsible choice.
One argument the university might make is that they are trying to prepare us for the real world. Today, you hardly ever see a corporate employee punch in at 9 a.m. and be forced to leave at 5 p.m. Employers are becoming more flexible and workers are able to set their own hours or work from home. If an employee needs to come in at 6 a.m. because they have to leave the office by 2 p.m., that is their choice. Their boss is probably not going to set even more restrictions on them, but that seems to be what Miami is doing, adding another layer of reinforcement to the ‘Miami bubble.’
Lastly, try to find a college that doesn’t have a drinking atmosphere. There are other more severe issues that Miami should be concerned about like sexual assault and drug use. Typically, people drink heavily in college. That has been going on for years. But drug abuse and rape are much larger problems that usually don’t just stop after graduation. We need to learn how to balance our time at the bars and in the classroom. And college is where we are supposed to learn these skills. The only thing these changes are doing is taking people who are responsible and punishing them because the people who have a real drinking problem are going to continue to make the wrong decisions, no matter if they have class at 9 a.m. the next day.
We aren’t in high school anymore, we are adults who must take responsibility into our own hands and the university needs to know that these changes are simply making it more complicated for their students to be well-rounded and successful. We have lives outside of this university; we have work, family functions, interviews, volunteer opportunities and so much more on Fridays, and now this rules out many of those possibilities. We really don’t like this one, Miami.