Student government is looking to create a unified break time for all students called the “common hour.” This would be a period of time every day that no classes are scheduled. Implementing a common hour would solve some of the problems created by conflicting schedules. Other universities already have a common hour implemented into their schedules. For example, St. John’s University describes theirs as a “regularly scheduled block of time during which no classes are held and members of the University community are, therefore, available to share in other activities.” Drew’s student government is trying to accomplish just that.
Having this unified break would promote involvement in the university’s community by allowing club meetings, faculty meetings and office hours, among other things, to happen more effectively. Plenty of the events that happen during the day are missed by students who cannot attend because of class. For example, Drew’s Stress Down events with therapy dogs in the EC are missed by a lot of students who have class at the same time. An event that is meant to be for students should be able to be attended by everyone, but that is simply not the case right now.
Not only would the common hour help in creating a shared time for meetings or events, but it would allow students to make sure they have time to eat in between their classes. Too many students go hungry throughout the day because their classes are lined up right after each other. The back-to-back classes usually cannot be avoided since Drew’s class scheduling is not very flexible, especially when trying to fulfill requirements. So, having a set period of time where nobody has classes would allow students to worry less about trying to create a manageable schedule.
While there are many benefits that would come from having a common hour at Drew, it may also create some problems. If everyone has the same break in between classes, the dining areas might become too crowded to be manageable for staff. Also, while meetings and events would no longer overlap with classes, they would probably still have to overlap with each other because of the limited time. However, these problems are small, and solutions for them can be made before the common hour is implemented. For example, staff can prepare for the influx of students prior to the scheduled time. Event calendars can be shared amongst clubs and organizations in order to avoid as much conflict as possible. With these solutions, the benefits outweigh any problems that the common hour may create.
Although having a common hour won’t solve all of students’ problems completely, it will still be beneficial to the student body to have a guaranteed break during the day. Having two classes back-to-back is not a problem. However, when students have three or more classes stacked right against each other as well as meetings and work, it becomes a problem for their physical and mental health. Students’ health should be prioritized. Implementing common hour benefits not only student health but also creates new opportunities for students to engage in the Drew community.
Featured Photo Courtesy of drew.edu