By Timothy Guy
By Timothy Guy
By now everyone has heard about the rumors of changes to the spring ’06 schedule.
“They are going to make everyone come to class on Fridays!”
“They don’t care about the student’s availability!”
“They are getting rid of Spring break!”
Riverside Campus President Daniel Castro would like to set the record straight.
“A lot of people are starting a lot of rumors because they don’t want the change,” he said. “This is about change for students; you guys are the clients and were saying we are going to open up as many doors as we can to get you through here.”
The change Castro refers to is all of the classes starting at a set time eliminating overlaps and huge gaps between classes. This would include the addition of Tuesday, Thursday and Friday class meetings, Friday classes in the evening and more classes on Saturday. Not changing existing days that classes meet, just adding more options on top of the existing format.
“We have now gone from a two day a week college to a four and five day a week college,” Castro said.
According to Castro, the change was not created by the administration, but rather a collaborative effort between the department chairs and the administration. The department chairs came to the administration for help because of 44 classes in the spring semester that did not have an assigned classroom.
Academic Senate President Virginia McKee-Leone explains the problems many students were having with the scheduling being used.
“I had students that had like chemistry and biology at the same time that had a 20 minute overlap in time, so they couldn’t take one of those classes,” McKee-Leone said. “And only because of a 20 minute overlap.”
The change, so far, seems to sit well with students.
“This should be easier for students to get their associates (degree) faster, to get their classes out of here faster instead of being here for 3-4 years,” Blanca Salinas said.
There had also been worries that this change was made without consulting the campus Academic Senate, which deals with issues like academic integrity and college policies.
“The scheduling of classes is not an Academic Senate issue in my estimation,” said Academic Senate president Virgina McKee-Leone. “I do not feel that the Academic Senate was stepped over at all on this issue.”
The scheduling change, according to McKee-Leone, will also benefit evening students in a big way.
“They are rushing in and then they are sitting there stressed from the traffic, they haven’t eaten… it’s not student friendly,” McKee-Leone said. “I think the schedule we have now really addresses more student needs and allows more opportunities for students to take courses both in the afternoon and evening.”
The one thing that people at the college would like everyone to know is that the students came first when planning these changes.
“This schedule is more student friendly, instead of faculty driven,” McKee-Leone said.
The upcoming change will also have ramifications on other parts of the college.
“It’s going to affect not just students and faculty, but what about staff?” McKee-Leone said. “The numbers of hours things (bookstore, cafeteria etc.) are going to be open. So it’s going to affect the whole college community here.”
When asked if the Bookstore and the cafeteria would expand hours to go along with the expanded classes, Linda Lacy, vice chancellor of Student Services, said she would look into it.
“When I get a final copy of the schedule I’ll work with both operations to discuss feasibility of increasing hours,” she said.
Another change that comes with the new schedule is changing the current college hour from 12:40-1:50 p.m. to 2-3 p.m.
“It’s going to make things harder,” ASRCC president Ashley DiMuccio said. “Most clubs meet from 12:40-1:50. There will not be many people there (at the new time.)”
With any luck the rumors should be put the rest.
“And no we are not doing away with spring break,” Castro said.