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September 05, 2006 - Image 34

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-05

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14C - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition 2006
WORK HARD, PLAY HARD
Thursday the new Friday? Not anymore Sudayis

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By Ashlea Surles
Daily Staff Reporter
No one will say thank goodness it's Thurs-
day anymore.
The University is considering redistrib-
uting courses more evenly throughout the
week, scheduling more classes on Friday to
better utilize facilities.
There are significantly fewer classes on
Fridays than any other weekday. Twelve
percent of classes are held on Fridays, com-
pared to 22 percent each Monday through
Thursday.
Phil Hanlon, associate provost for aca-
demic and budgetary affairs, said the low
percentage of Friday classes indicates an
underutilization of University facilities.
In the face of budget constraints, the
University is trying to remedy this, Han-
lon said.
Most University buildings are powered
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week, but are
actually used far less than that - espe-
cially on Fridays.
"The cost of maintaining our facilities is
one of the things that increases most in our
budget:' Hanlon said.
Hanlon said part of the University's
strategy for managing the budget crisis
is a more efficient use of facilities. If the

University schedules classes proportion-
ally throughout the week, it would justify
powering facilities evenly.
Class scheduling is largely dependent on
when faculty want to teach and when stu-
dents want to take classes.
"Faculty are asked directly while students
are asked indirectly through class enroll-
ment" Hanlon said.
Faculty and students generally avoid
scheduling Friday courses, so the provost's
office is considering offering financial or
special incentives to departments and col-
leges that schedule more classes on Fridays.
The change would inhibit the three-day-
weekend lifestyle many students, espe-
cially upperclassmen, have adopted. Many
students see Thursday night as another
night to party.
As a result, low attendance and enroll-
ment levels plague Friday courses.
In one French 102 course last semester, an
average of 17 percent of students were absent
on Fridays, compared to 6 percent for the
three other days of the week.
Art History Prof. Rebecca Zurier said she
noticed lower attendance in her History of
Art 102 class on Friday but said the trend has
not prompted her to change her syllabus to
accommodate students.
In an extended exchange with Zurier last

semester, one student complained that too
many of the assignments in her 400-level
course required studying over the weekend
and thus interfered with seniors'
habit of taking long weekends beginning
on Thursday nights.
Communications Prof. Mark McDonald
said he adjusts his course schedule to fit
students' long-weekend lifestyle. While
he does not teach Friday classes, McDon-
ald is very aware of Thursday being "the
new Friday." The professor said he tries
to schedule quizzes and exams on Thurs-
days to give students "a running start into
a long weekend and also keep them from
having to cram - while hungover - on a
Saturday or Sunday."
Other professors opt out of teaching Fri-
day classes.
Anthropology Prof. Joyce Marcus said
when she first came to teach at the Univer-
sity, other professors advised her against
teaching on Fridays.
Marcus joined the University staff in 1985
and has yet to teach a Friday class.
Art History Prof. James Steward also
said he has long avoided Friday teaching
if possible.
Steward previously taught at the Univer-
sity of California at Berkeley. He said Friday
classes were a tough sell there, too.

But an increase in Friday classes would
not necessarily curb Thursday-night par-
tying. Engineering freshman Michael
Makowski said he goes out on Thursday
nights occasionally, but that when he
doesn't, his 10 a.m. class isn't what's stop-
ping him.
Charley's Upstairs owner Rich Buhr said
Thursdays and Fridays are the busiest at his
bar, and have been for the last 25 years.
"Thursday is probably the night that
everyone goes out no matter what -
usually people choose either Friday or
Saturday," said John Robinson, assistant
general manager of Necto, a dance club.
Lt. Michael Logghe of the Ann Arbor
Police Department vouched for the lively
Thursday night scene. He said Thursday
nights are on par with Friday and Satur-
day in terms of party and alcohol-related
incidents.
"(Thursday) is the end of the week and
people are ready to go out again," LSA soph-
omore Evan Pappas said.
Dean of Students Sue Eklund recognized
the trend.
"If it's true that students have one more
night where they can binge drink - yes, it's
a problem," she said.
- This article originally ran Apr. 4, 2006.

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