The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Power of the “College Hour”

Student hour5For years at City College, when the clock struck noon, the campus College Hour began. Students walked to the café for a bite to eat, some lingered around the fountain, while others convened with friends and fellow club members.

The College Hour, according to Mary Turner, City College vice president of Instruction, is observed Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. and 5-6:30 p.m. But according to Lincoln Scott, City College Club and Events Board project coordinator and president of the United Elements Club, College Hour isn’t what it used to be.

Scott said the number of people he sees participating in activities during College Hour is significantly less than during previous semesters. Such is also the case, Scott said, for the number of attendees
at club meetings—specifically, Student Senate meetings.

Additionally, Scott said the Grace Alive Bible study group had significantly decreased in size since fall 2011, going from a “couple dozen” to a “handful, less than 10” members.

“It’s disheartening to see less student involvement,” said Scott. “People really don’t have time anymore because of one thing or another.”

Scott said that slowing things down at midday on a busy campus has its benefits.

“I don’t know what the proper solution would be, but if the noon hour would be left open, even to staff and faculty, they’d have more time to eat,” said Scott. “It’s frustrating to eat on the run.”

Alan Whittington, 20-year-old biology/chemistry major, said deciding whether to join a particular club would be simpler if students’ schedules permitted them to attend one of the club’s meetings during College Hour.

“I feel like all people need a break once a day where they can make a choice about whether or not they want to be- come more involved,” said Whittington.

Turner said class offerings try to be considerate of the standing schedule for College Hour.

“Only less than a dozen classes [in Rodda North and South] are scheduled during the College Hour,” said Turner. “We really do our best from semester to semester to try to avoid scheduling [classes at] those [times] and at least give the students some options so that is not the only time that the class is offered.”

Turner pointed out that in most disciplines, classes during the College Hour run only on Tuesday or Thursday, but for the most part not both.

“Some of our career technical education programs schedule lab time that overlaps [the College Hour], but most of our divisions try to avoid scheduling during those times as much as they possibly can,” said Turner.

Students aren’t the only ones who benefit from the College Hour. Turner said the College Hour benefits everyone on campus.

“Many of our faculty share governance meetings,” said Turner. “Our Academic Senate and department chairs meet [during the College Hour]. We want to be sensitive to our students but also want to be sensitive to our faculty and staff so that they can participate as well.”

According to Student Leadership and Development Coordinator Kimberlee Beyrer, freeing up 100 percent of the college hour all the time isn’t realistic.

“There have always been some classes scheduled during the college hour time, but the goal is to minimize the number,” Beyrer said. “[However,] there are times when it is unavoidable, and academics come first.”

Freethinkers’ club representative Nikki Mcgarey said she has no problem finding time to be an active participant at meetings held during the College Hour.

“It’s easy because I’ve scheduled for it,” said Mcgarey.

However, some students want to be involved in clubs on campus but cannot dedicate the time because their classes occur during meeting times.

Fabian Enriquez said until this semester, his schedule did not allow him to get involved with Puente, a City College program helping students prepare for transfer to a four-year university. Although Enriquez is now actively involved, he said he knows other students who have expressed interest in doing the same but are unable to because, as Beyrer pointed out, academics come first.

“I know if students did not have classes during that hour, clubs would have more members,” said Enriquez. “I have met several people that are eager to join the club, but unfortunately, do not have the time to attend the meetings.”

According to Enriquez, the College Hour is important since it allows students a chance to check out from all things scholarly for a bit and, instead, gives them time to get outdoors and socialize.

“Students that have classes between noon and 1 p.m. are missing out on the college experience,” said Enriquez. “[Stu- dents] should be having lunch in the quad and enjoying the great atmosphere that Sac City College provides.”

“There have always been some classes scheduled during the college hour time, but the goal is to minimize the number. [However,] there are times when it is unavoidable, and academics come first.”

–Kimberlee Beyrer Student Leadership and development Coordinator

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