To address an abundance of student scheduling conflicts, Stanford University is considering a plan to spread out its class times, which may include starting more classes earlier in the day, a contentious issue to students.
An online petition, signed by more than 1,700 students, stated that the signers "believe the proposal to have classes begin at 8:30 a.m. and banning the double-booking of schedules is deplorable and should be retracted immediately."
Stanford spokesperson Lisa Lapin said that there are classes that already start as early as 8 a.m. and that "ultimately faculty members have a lot of say as to when they hold class."
"I'm walking through a building full of students who started class at 8 a.m.," Lapin told the Weekly by phone before 9 a.m. this morning. Lapin said many athletes who have obligations in the afternoon take their classes earlier in the morning.
Currently, some faculty members allow students to double-book their schedule, or enroll in two classes that meet at the same time.
Lapin said the proposal would not ban double booking "by any means," and that faculty would retain control of whether students may double book their class.
The proposal, which will be discussed by the school's faculty senate on Thursday, March 7, would spread the classes out so that fewer would fall during the popular period of between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This includes expanding the number of classes that begin at 8:30 a.m.
"In any given quarter over a thousand undergraduates have enrollment conflicts, something which, on its face, devalues teaching," the University Registrar's website states.
The signers of the petition also took issue with the fact that they, as students, were not consulted on the changes, "which would have a tremendous effect on student life."
"It removes the ability for students to have control over their own education, and we do not believe that heavy-handed regulation with no student dialogue is the solution," the petition stated.