Construction to re-route College Hour

"Faculty Assembly vote on May 3 suspended College Hour, beginning Spring 2011.

" College Hour was instated in the spring of 2007 as a time period where no classes were scheduled so that students could attend a number of co-curricular speeches, seminars, exhibits, short film series, panel discussions and faculty and student presentations. Presently, College Hour takes place on Wednesdays from 12:40-1:35 p.m.

" Although College Hour has been viewed by many faculty members as a good way to encourage students to engage in extra academic involvement, it is not without its issues. The major problem with College Hour is the time it is scheduled for.

""Whenever you designate a time it will cause issues for somebody," said Associate Provost Rameen Mohammadi.

"For many science labs and studio art classes, College Hour causes problems with scheduling. The time is also an issue due to the fact that, although College Hour activities only take place on Wednesdays. The 12:40-1:35 p.m. time slot on Monday and Friday are also eliminated from use.

"Mohammadi said that one of the reasons for scheduling College Hour in the afternoon was so that commuters would have the opportunity to attend such programs without making long trips back and forth to campus Providing one unified time for students and faculty to attend College Hour programs have helped with organization, he said.

"Susan Camp, chair of Faculty Assembly, said that the decision to suspend College Hour had nothing to do with the quality of the programs, but rather its time slot.

"Mohammadi explained that College Hour’s 12:40 time slot caused another problem.

""Students go to lunch rather than to College Hour programs," he said.Student Association President Steven DiMarzo said, "S.A. has always pushed to keep College Hour." DiMarzo and SA support College Hour because it enriches students both educationally and socially. He agreed, however, that many people use College Hour to eat lunch.

"The recent vote to suspend College Hour came just before construction began on campus to renovate Piez Hall and build the new sciences complex. A member of the Faculty Assembly proposed suspending College Hour for the duration of construction, which is expected to take about three years.

"Due to the relocation of classrooms that used to be housed in Piez Hall to Snygg Hall and Hewitt Union, many faculty members will experience what Mohammadi called a "space crunch." The limited space will add more issues to scheduling, and suspending College Hour for the time being will free up time and space for instruction.

"The May 3 Faculty Assembly minutes specify that the proposed suspension of College Hour was not a question of whether or not it should exist at all, but rather whether or not it should exist during construction. The proposal to suspend College Hour for the spring of 2011 was passed by a vote of 21-17.

"Mohammadi, Camp and DiMarzo all pointed out that, although College Hour will no longer officially exist, there will still be many on campus lectures, presentations, and exhibits for students to attend in the coming years. No official plans have been made about how to fix the problems with College Hour for the future.