Class times changed for spring semester

Starting with the Spring 2009 semester, students will find that as they are registering for classes a new timetable of standard meeting patterns has been created, with the start time for most classes being pushed back 30 minutes.”Students definitely have more trouble getting up at 8 a.m. than they used to,” UVM Registrar Keith Williams said. “To say that there has been a national trend towards later afternoon classes is obvious, so our new meeting patterns beginning at 8:30 a.m. has shifted UVM in that direction as well.” The earliest classes, which previously would have started at 8 a.m., will start at 8:30 a.m. next semester, and most other classes on the schedule are pushed back accordingly. However, these new meeting patterns were not created just to give students an extra half hour in the mornings. For the past 18 months, the Provost’s Office, Faculty Senate Curricular Affairs Committee and the Registrar’s office have been meeting to devise a plan to clean up class scheduling for students and faculty. “The number one priority was to improve students’ abilities to capture courses and build a full schedule,” Williams said. “Parallel with that, we needed to accommodate more standard patterns into a kind of structure that was accessible and workable for everyone,” he said.Students will put these new meeting patterns to the test when Spring 2009 registration begins. However, most students have not been alerted to the new changes, while others looking through classes early have already run into problems. “I feel cheated that I haven’t been notified that there was a time change in classes because it is a pretty important issue. A lot of people are going to have to adjust,” sophomore Joel Ware said. “I wanted to sign up for a once-a-week meeting class on a Wednesday, but it conflicts with a Monday/Wednesday class that I wanted to take as well,” junior Ellen Thompson said. “I guess I will just have to wait and see how it all works out, but so far I am frustrated, I didn’t see anything wrong with the old times,” she said.In response to problems like these, Professor Cynthia Jean Forehand, Chair of the Faculty Senate Curricular Affairs Committee, said, “it is impossible to make everything completely non-overlapping and still meet the need of individual units. That type of situation should affect very few students.””I think it is going to be a positive change eventually, but it probably won’t affect that much initially,” freshman Rachel Trotter said. “After people sign up for classes, they probably won’t even notice that something is different.”