EDITORIAL: Students deserve transparency

Direct input from the student body on Friday classes should be a primary concern

The Journal Editorial Board

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Joseph Pulitzer once said, “There is not a crime, there is not a dodge, there is not a trick, there is not a swindle, there is not a vice which does not live by secrecy.”

Is the possibility of moving core classes to Friday a crime? Probably not, but not properly informing students of the consideration in a transparent manner is far from virtuous.

According to UIS Director of Public Relations Derek Schnapp, Friday classes are being considered because “current course scheduling guidelines are no longer serving the campus well.”

Scheduling changes would potentially be implemented during the fall semester of 2017, which would affect current freshmen and sophomores.

Schnapp said a task force is working to figure out how to “make better use of existing classroom space on campus and help to reduce scheduling challenges for students.”

Additionally, some argue that such a scheduling change could enhance student life at UIS by keeping more students on campus during the weekend. However, the decision to go home or not during weekends should be left up to the students.

Very simply, students at UIS deserve to be informed of any impactful change that is being considered by the university. Students should have the opportunity to raise any objections or concerns they may have.

Moving core classes to Fridays does not come free of its downsides. Although school is the main obligation for many students, others must balance jobs and family commitments as well. Adding classes to Fridays could very likely negatively affect such commitments.

Furthermore, students enrolled at UIS under the understanding that, minus science labs, Fridays would be free of classes. Reneging on this well-publicized characteristic of the university would be a promise not kept and could hurt future enrollment efforts as students generally like having Fridays off.

Not informing students of the possibility of such a scheduling change and not directly asking students for their opinion on such a change amplifies the egregiousness of the proposed alteration.

If the university wishes to include Friday classes in the future, it must begin by allowing for student feedback through informational town halls and campus-wide surveys.

While the UIS administration may have intended to approach students and include them in the decision-making process in the future, if students don’t speak up now, it will be much easier for the university to exclude students from the process altogether.