By Blake Stewart
A new class slot will be available at 10 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays next year because of an increase in enrollment.
The 10 a.m. slot has been open for staff meetings and other events on campus, but because the student body continues to grow, administrators made the move to add 10 a.m. classes after the undergraduate enrollment increased 36 percent in the past three years, said Steve Pusey, University Provost.
This change in schedule will not affect the students as much, said Pusey. It will primarily affect faculty as professors and university staff will now have to shift their meetings to later in the afternoon.
“The adjustment can be tough on the staff, but our priority at the university is the students,” said Pusey.
University officials are trying to find ways to meet the needs of student growth on campus. Pusey estimates that there will be an increase of 75 to 100 undergraduate students next year.
Currently, up to 70 percent of the 50 class spaces are used during main time blocks each day. Adding the 10 a.m. classes to the Monday, Wednesday and Friday class schedule will create 40 additional classroom spaces.
The schedule change also helps delay spending money on additional buildings.
“If we continue to grow, this change will get us by for a couple of years rather than having to build or carve up classroom space. It will be cost-saving to the university,” said Pusey.
Seth Conley, assistant professor of communication studies, said while it’s nice to have the spot open during the day, that adding 10 a.m. classes is a good overall solution.
“I see the value in the way that it’s been done, but I also see the value in the adjustment in regards to our growth. I see it as growing pains that will lead to be beneficial for the university,” he said. “It would be difficult to put up a building by next semester, so this is a good part-time solution and a good option to accommodate our growth.”
The change will also help student athletes and commuters.
Athletes have practices later in the day and will be able to get in more morning classes.
“As an athlete, it’s good because all my time goes toward school and basketball, and that opens time in the morning for me to take a class instead of an afternoon or evening class,” said Dominique Obunaka, junior social justice major and student athlete.
The change will also benefit commuters, Pusey said.
Briana Relles, senior general science major, will be commuting to campus beginning in the fall
and says she is excited for the change.
“I am going to be commuting next year for the first time. A lot of my friends are commuters and have to wake up at 5 and 6 a.m. to miss traffic to get to class on time. The change in time will allow myself and fellow commuters to schedule classes during the 10 a.m. class period, which will lead to getting more sleep and missing the horrific Nashville traffic,” said Relles.
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