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Class scheduling issue remains

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The University of La Verne is a small private school with much to offer students: small class sizes, individual attention and a real college feel.

If some administrators had their way, that would no longer be the case.

We would like to thank faculty members who voted against changing the scheduling block Monday.

A new scheduling block? What? You had no idea?

In case you were not aware, the faculty assembly meeting convened Monday and one of the main agenda items was a presentation to explain proposed schedule block changes. There were three proposed scheduling blocks, one being what is currently in use, and other varieties, including a “4-1” schedule which would call for some four-unit classes currently meeting three days a week to go to four days.

A 17-week semester schedule was also introduced as a possibility, but it was not on the ballot. The alternate scheduling blocks were designed for some classes to meet more frequently for shorter time periods. The reason: to fill classroom space more efficiently, making room for increased enrollment.

Jonathan Fitzhugh, president of Associated Students of the University of La Verne, spoke on behalf of students at the meeting. He said he has received many phone calls from students against schedule changes.

Times have changed. Many students are older or returning, and most have jobs and other responsibilities outside of school. Driving to school two or three times a week works well for many commuter students, as it allows us to work and save gas money. Four times a week? Give us a break.

And what about part-time faculty? Do administrators at ULV really think they are going to find quality professors with the time and gas money to drive to the campus to teach one class for 50 minutes four times a week?

And you may ask, why the sudden need to change the scheduling?

Answer: money, plain and simple.

ULV is trying desperately to raise enrollment and tuition money. New scheduling blocks would potentially allow for more classes to accommodate many more students.

But is bigger always better? We think not.

With more students, the University will have to provide more money for support services – and financial aid –  and figure out a better parking solution. Not to mention, ULV will become like every other university in the area. Lines will be everywhere and students will turn into numbers. Faculty will be overworked and individual attention will be a thing of the past.

Small class sizes and a more personal learning environment are why many students choose ULV over state and other private universities in the area.

It is all about quality, not quantity. We recommend the administration seriously look at fundraising and other ways to bring in money.

While we are safe for now because enough faculty members had the sense to save us from new schedule blocking, this issue is bound to resurface.

Perhaps next time will be even more of a surprise to students and faculty than it was Monday. Many faculty members left the Assembly on Monday before the vote, not knowing a vote was pending.

If future meetings are held this way, something absurd like a 17-week semester might be instituted.

We shudder to think of no January term and starting school in August.

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