3.1.18 Empty Classroom

Classrooms in Allen Hall sit empty on Thursday, March 1, 2018.

Everyone loves a three-day weekend. The extra day gives students enough time to get work done, relax and have fun. Universities around the country are adopting a four-day week for its benefits to students and faculty. On some campuses like Indiana University Bloomington and Arizona State University, there are around 40-50 percent fewer classes held on Fridays than other days.

Southern University implemented a four-day week in 2012. “The students think it’s a great idea,” said Chancellor James Llorens when the idea was first introduced.

The ideal way to make this adjustment would be to make Monday and Wednesday classes an extra half-hour long to accommodate for the lost Friday class. While the change would not cut down on student’s hours or workload, it would condense classroom time. The benefits of this idea definitely outweigh the drawbacks.

With this free day, the University would have more time to allot to student advising and professors’ office hours. The extra time would allow students to receive one-on-one help from professors or other counselors on campus. On top of the extra time for office hours and advising, the extra day would give students more free time to go to the library or study without cutting into the social part of their weekend.

Studies show individuals who work longer hours have an increased risk of stroke and heart disease, according to a medical study analysis by The Lancet. Individuals who work more than 40 hours a week also have a heightened risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Cutting a day off of the school week would have a huge impact on the overall stress and anxiety levels on campus. Less stress could mean slowing down traffic in the LSU Mental Health Clinic and the LSU Student Health Center as students will have more time to stay healthy.

In addition to the health benefits, there are economic reasons to consider a four-day work week. The University would save money on day-to-day costs like air conditioning, utilities and buses. These cuts would be huge in helping save the University money that could be used to improve academic buildings.

Baton Rouge traffic could also be alleviated, as well. Less drivers on the road once a week could have a positive impact on traffic. This change would also allow students more time to travel home on weekends to see family or friends. Having time to go home when you need to would be great for first-year students, especially as they make the transition from home to college.

Extended weekends would also be a great opportunity for students to get involved on and off campus. Having a free weekday would allow students to get a job or internship to gain valuable job experience and make some money. This time could also be used to get involved in a club, intramural sport, volunteering, Greek Life or another hobby. Overall, involved students often have better grades than those who are uninvolved.

A four-day week would alter the current schedule, but could be instrumental in the success of the students and the University. It would save the University money, as well as improve the student body’s mental health and extracurricular involvement.

Sarah Grobety is a 20-year-old mass communication junior from Atlanta, Georgia.