The weekend blues

Steven Schoenwald

You know what really grinds my gears? Late night study sessions and weekend intramural sports. I know – what’s wrong with those, right? I understand that student instructors (SIs) want to schedule sessions when classes aren’t going on, but when all available study sessions are at 9 p.m., commuters tend to get left out. Sure, they can stay late and study an hour or two, but who really wants to leave for home at 11 p.m. and not get home until midnight with class the next morning? An additional weekend review session should be considered for many campus classes, as weekend mornings and afternoons tend to be the most opportune for all students to participate.

SI sessions are an important part of the learning experience at top-ranked universities. If students wanted to study without any outside assistance, it would be more logical to take inexpensive online courses from the University of Phoenix than spend $40,000 a year on tuition. Weekly classes and sometimes inopportune professor office hours do not allow enough time for concept mastery. These extra academic activities that the university sponsors, such as SI sessions, are what differentiate Case from mid-tier colleges. As an integral academic related activity, it is part of the university’s responsibilities to make certain all students have equal opportunities to participate in SI sessions. Since professors provide the most important aspect of a university education, it is imperative that administration factor in equal and adequate supportive measures to aid in the learning experience.

On the other hand, there is little excuse for the intramural coordinators scheduling commuter matches or referee times over the weekends. There aren’t a lot of commuters willing to drive to campus in order to play an hour long game, let alone referee someone else’s game and then go home. Suggesting that teams are randomly assigned match times for fairness doesn’t cut it, as most campus residents can walk to an assigned campus field in mere minutes. It would be great if an exception to the rule could be made for commuter students so they wouldn’t waste time driving to and from campus on weekends and risk forfeit fees.

To some it may seem like I have just contradicted myself, but when you think about it, intramurals are not activities that enhance academic performance. They are generally scheduled in the evenings so they don’t conflict with classes, and should always be considered secondary in importance to academics. In order to accommodate the traveling limitations of as many people as possible, while at the same time providing a stress relief period for students, it makes sense for the majority of intramural events to take place weekday evenings, especially those events with commuter participation. And with the rising cost of tuition, it is more important than ever for universities to focus on the little things that make the college experience uniquely advantageous for its entire student populous.