The switch day dilemma

So, it happened last week. The big switch. I’m sure you were all hearing about from your instructors. This interruption makes a full week for spring break possible. Because one Monday class was already skipped due to a holiday earlier in the semester, this time, Tuesday classes were cancelled.

I’m assuming you all heard about it, right? Oh, well, you had some kind of clue that Monday would be Tuesday, and classes had been changed. It’s not like you have anything going on in your life that would cause you to miss school on a Tuesday anyway.

While our teachers tried to make us aware of the switch, which had no alternative other than compliance, some students were left out in the cold. Students with families, jobs and other obligations were unable to attend their classes. Even some faculty members were unable to hold instruction due to their other obligations.

Switch Day - Connor Allen-webAfter talking with students and teachers on campus, I am led to believe that there were issues with attendance that day. One teacher said only about half of all those in his class were in attendance, while another said his classes were mostly full, but he had to cancel one class due to the sheer number of students that had to work.

While it’s easy to understand the reasoning behind the switch day, the execution was a little sloppy. I only heard about it through word of mouth. I, like many students, don’t really pay too much attention to the e-mails that flood into my UVLink accounts.

The announcement of the switch was relegated to what could be considered spam. My teachers were aware of the switch, but I really didn’t hear about it until the week prior, which was a week too late for me to take off work.

I spent the day at work, wondering what important information I could be missing. And I did miss something important, which was frustrating.

Here’s the real kicker about this whole switch. It could have been avoided by adding another week to the short semester. The current 15-week semester seems a little short to me. I always feel like the material I am learning is rushed, with no time to stop and discuss or try to dig deeper to get at the heart of an issue. Teachers move us along as fast as they can as students struggle through material that should have more time to explain and learn.

The rush could be helped by an extra week, and then the switch would be something like a bad dream. No more worrying about too many missed Monday classes and more time for other classes to cover what needs to be covered in a more comprehensive matter.

What really matters is that UVU is not a traditional college. The students here have other obligations. They have lives outside their college experience, and they tend to plan their college around their lives or vice-versa. When something like this switch comes along, it throws a wrench into their perfectly crafted schedules. They suffer because of it.

Realizing that UVU is not the standard college environment, but it is a step in the right direction for its students, could help draw more through the doors. We could well be a shining beacon for non-traditional students throughout the state, and possibly the country.

All we have to do is accept that UVU is different and embrace our difference.

Cameron Simek is the Opinions editor for the UVU Review at Utah Valley University. He can be reached at camsimek@gmail.com, and on twitter @Skabomb. www.uvureview.com

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