Manhattan College students and faculty are looking ahead to plan for the last week of classes as the semester comes to a close and will notice an abnormal schedule on the calendar.
Unlike the normal weekly cycle, the first week of May includes daily class schedules on different days than usual, as well as a make-up snow day.
As of now the schedule is as follows: Monday class schedule on Monday, May 1; Friday class schedule on Tuesday, May 2; Monday class schedule on Wednesday, May 3; and Thursday class schedule on Thursday, May 4.
Having alternative class schedules on May 2 and May 3 was a decision made before the semester began in order to have an equivalent number of each class day on the college calendar.
“We have a practice here of trying to make sure that we’ve got the right number of each kind of day—Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday—and sometimes that results in us making a Tuesday a Monday schedule or something like that,” Provost William Clyde said. “It’s efficient, even if it’s a little confusing.”
This specific weekly schedule switch was made due to there originally being both an extra day of Tuesday and Wednesday classes on the academic calendar. Monday and Friday class schedules are the days often lost when long weekend holidays occur and therefore were needed to be rescheduled for May 2 and May 3.
The unusual schedule can be confusing to students and professors accustomed to following a set weekly routine. However, Clyde has not heard of any significant issues regarding scheduling conflicts from faculty members, especially adjuncts who may be beholden to the class schedules of other institutions where they also teach.
On top of this original schedule set in the academic calendar, there was also an additional change made during the semester. Thursday, May 4 was initially scheduled as a reading day for students to use to prepare for finals, but will now be used as a make-up day of classes for the snow day that occurred on Thursday, Feb. 9.
Thursday, May 4 and Friday, May 5 were tentatively set as reading days in the academic calendar at the beginning of the semester. However, the administration also reserved them as possible make-up snow days in case of inclement weather cancelling classes at some point during the spring semester.
Students were first notified of the decision to utilize the make-up snow day in an email sent out and an announcement posted on Feb. 13.
Friday, May 5 is now the only reading day before final exams begin on Monday, May 8.
“Honestly, as long as we have a reading day, I’m fine with it,” Gian Noto, chemical engineering student, said regarding the make-up snow day being instituted in the schedule.
The college has not usually made up snow days in the past, but the college administration decided to take advantage of the unique academic calendar options available for this semester.
“We didn’t have the schedule space [in years prior] and I don’t think we are going to in the future,” Clyde said.
Usually, faculty members must make up snow days by scheduling extra sessions outside of normal class time, providing additional assignments or utilizing online resources such as video lessons and forum post discussions.
According to Clyde, there is a noted spike in the use of Moodle, the college’s online course webpage system, on snow days where classes are cancelled.
The decision to cancel class can be a difficult one for the administration in trying to balance student and faculty safety with maintaining academic schedules. This is especially the case given that some classes, such as laboratory sessions and evening graduate classes, may only take place once a week.
“There a variety of ways for the faculty to make it up, but in this case we had the day so we used it,” Clyde said.
While faculty members may appreciate the opportunities provided by rescheduled class time, for some students the make-up snow day is now one more hurdle standing between summer vacation or possibly even graduation.
“As a senior, having the make-up snow day is kind of a pain,” Alec Simon, finance major, said.