The Student Government Association has started a conversation with administration on possibly changing the normal five-day school week to a four-day week. While this is still in its beginning stages, president Dylan Mire said the conversation started as a “what if” idea.
Mire said the start of this idea was just that, an idea. It popped into his head earlier this semester, and he had known of smaller schools that incorporate a four-day school week into their campus culture, are successful at it, and wanted to possibly bring that idea here to Spring Hill.
Mire stated, “There are some articles out there that confirm the benefits of the four-day week, so I was intrigued. We have talked about the idea and different possibilities, risks, pros, cons within SGA and with VP of Student Affairs and the Academic Provost. There are essentially two options that we talked about: having a day of no classes that would be set aside with an emphasis on service and internships on either a Wednesday or Friday.”
With an emphasis on service and internships, there is also a question of whether or not the four-day week should only be available to upperclassmen, “since they have the greater need for internships and research shows that first-year college students do better with going to classes than not.” With all of this in mind, Mire wants to remind everyone that this is only an idea, and there haven’t been any steps taken to write a proposal. However, it is still legitimate to look into.
Academic Provost Dr. George Sims also raised many questions of interest about the four-day school week. The first being how the classes would be split between 32 hours instead of 40. The question of registration was also a concern. Students avoid registering for classes between 1:30 and 5:00 p.m., but if the four-day week comes into practice, would students be willing to change their preferences?
Another question Sims raised was the expectations for faculty. What would that look like? Would they be expected to work on the students’ off-day? Ultimately, all entities of the college would have to be considered in taking on the topic of the four-day school week. Sims wanted to stress that, “At this time an idea like this is not part of the college’s planning processes.” The president just created and released a 5-year financial plan, and there is nothing in it that mentions a four-day school week.
Other than this conversation, SGA is working to use its funding to improve the physical campus as well as make campus cleaner and greener by providing more trash and recycling receptacles and more cigarette butt receptacles.
When asked how he thought his term was going, Mire said, “This term has been full of change and adjustment, so it has taken some time to really dig into a lot of the things we have wanted to do. I've been doing my best to play my part in helping new staff members get familiarized with Spring Hill, and now that everyone has their feet underneath them, we are finally feeling a shift towards progress in many areas of campus. I'm especially proud of SGA's commitment to transparency both internally and with things going on in the school.”
Mire added, “I think that we have a good presence on campus, and through our usage of social media and physical presence in the caf, at athletic events, and even at the Fairway apartments on the weekends, I feel that we have been able to hear students’ concerns, relay information to them, and relay their information to administration. I do hope that students feel that presence and know that their concerns don't fall on deaf ears. We can't always do something to address the concerns, but I keep a running list of concerns that I look into on a weekly basis. Sometimes we see progress with them. Other times, it's a hard no.”
If you’re interested on following up with the four-day school week progress, or any other SGA initiative, you can attend weekly SGA meetings on Tuesday nights at 9 in the Bedsole Conference Room upstairs in the Burke Library.