Athens students want more day classes

Staff Writer

At first glance, Athens campus students’ preference for day or night classes appears to be split. But first glance does not tell the whole story. Upon closer examination, it’s evident that there is a large population of students, mostly aged 24 and younger, who would prefer to take more day classes. The problem is, there is also a large population of students, aged 25 and up, who work day jobs and have no choice but to take night classes. The average student’s working schedule simply prohibits them from taking day classes. On the flip side, it is becoming clear that a large portion of the Athens student body, mostly younger students, want to be offered more day classes. At some point the administration needs to consider making a change. 

Athens students want their voices to be heard. 

In a recent survey, Athens students were asked whether they prefer day or night classes, as well as various other questions concerning class scheduling. 429 students were polled. After a response rate of 65.74 percent, answers from a total of 261 respondents were compiled. The survey produced some interesting results. 

The split of Athens undergraduate students between preferring day and night classes is exactly 50/50. However, that is a misleading statistic. The undergraduates who prefer night classes tend to be older students who work in the day, thus, they cannot take day classes. Then there is the other 50 percent of the Athens student body, the 18-to-24 year old students who are not satisfied with the current schedule in place.

Among freshman and sophomore students, over half said that they either prefer or require day classes. 78 percent of students said that they could take day classes, while 73 percent said that they could take day or night classes. Currently about 2/3rds of classes in Athens are offered at night, which means that day-preferring students must take the majority of their schedule at night. The lack of more reasonable class offerings is beginning to cause unrest amongst many students. When talking with both traditional and non-traditional students, exact opinions varied, but a widespread dissasatisfaction with the current night classes offered was evident. 

Markina Mapp, a Business major on the Athens campus, gets off work and then comes to Piedmont to learn the same subject for four hours, eventually heading home anywhere from 8:45 p.m. to 10:10 p.m. 

“These night classes are way too long,” said Mapp.d “I don’t have a problem with a night class, if we could just split the time, into two hours twice a week instead of one night a week.” 

Her complaint echoes that of dozens other unhappy Athens campus students who believe that the current schedule offered is simply not fair. 

Patterson Settles, an undergraduate on the Athens campus, shared this: 

“I just don’t feel like it’s an appropriate way of learning. You are cramming multiple chapters into your head in one night and then you don’t meet for another week,” said Settles. “Four hours is just too much time to be learning one subject, people’s brains just shut down after a while.”

Complaints such as these can be heard throughout the Athens campus. Students are fed up with the current schedule being offered and at some point, would like to see a few changes implemented. For instance, of the students who require or prefer night classes, 75 percent said that they can begin night classes at 5:30 p.m. or before. A simple change, such as pushing up the start time of classes, could save students like Mapp, and many others from leaving Piedmont at 9:30 p.m. to drive sometimes over an hour to their home. A change such as meeting for two hours twice a week, as opposed to four hours once a week, would save students from the horrors of learning two or three class periods worth of material in one night. Such a change would also allow for students and professors to discuss learned information more frequently.