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Editorial: Saturday classes should not be mandatory

Last month brought Hurricane Irma down on Valdosta. The storm slammed in to the city which resulted in downed trees, power lines and class cancelations. The damage isn’t over yet. The next limb to fall may be on one of students’ most valued days of the week.

VSU has offered designated make-up days for the classes that were cancelled during Hurricane Irma. These alternative class times have been scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11 and 18.

With fall and Thanksgiving break squeezed into one semester, many professors have a tightly packed syllabus to ensure that students are getting the most out of the semester. Professors and students have lost valuable class time from the cancellation of classes in September.

In an email sent to the VSU community on Sept. 19, Dr. Vincent Miller described options provided to professors to make up for their missed class days. According to the email, professors could either they could work with students to readjust class schedules and assignments, schedule additional virtual class sessions, or use the designated make-up days to conduct any extra face-to-face class sessions.

Miller concluded his email, “Please be advised that it is your professor’s choice of how to make up missed class time and each professor may choose a different option – including the Saturday class meeting date.”

We at The Spectator feel that it is imperative that these Saturday classes be optional make-up days. We feel that students who miss these classes should not suffer academically.

If professors feel it necessary to hold classes on the weekend, then they should provide an on-line option for those students who have other commitments.

Many students plan out their semester well in advance. A majority of students live out of town and often have scheduled family events or pre-paid trips. Also, many students have jobs that are necessary to pay for their education. Their weekends are taken up by work responsibilities.

Having to attend a mandatory class session over the weekend could interfere with commitments that cannot be rescheduled.

Professors should be given alternatives for making up class when cancelations result from a major crisis, and they have the right to decide which course of action they want to take to stay on schedule. However, they should provide reasonable alternatives for their mandated meetings so that each student has the opportunity to have a fair academic experience.

Let’s band together to ensure that Hurricane Irma does not continue to deal out damage at VSU.

This editorial was written by a member of the editorial staff and expresses the general opinion of The Spectator.

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