September 9, 2021
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Image caption: The winning team from Campus Recreation’s Dodgeball Tournament, held on a Flexible Friday. Photo by Nick Hadley ’23
Flexible Fridays Get a Wings-Up
Montgomery, Ala.— When Huntingdon College opened fall term classes in August, the campus began a new class schedule, elongating the classes held Mondays through Thursdays and introducing Flexible Fridays, when no classes take place. As the College concludes the first five weeks, the Hawks and Hawk faculty are giving the new schedule a wings-up.
“Students have embraced the new Flexible Fridays schedule fully,” said Huntingdon President J. Cameron West. “There’s a great spirit on campus—students seem less stressed than in previous years, and faculty have more time to accomplish faculty meetings and workshops, academic planning, grading, and office hours for individual meetings with students.”
The list of what students can accomplish during Flexible Fridays is long. Students have scheduled doctor and dentist appointments and elective surgeries; internships, externships, job shadowing, graduate school field trips, and employment; Office of Student Development programming, including Campus Recreation competitions and club and organizational meetings; workshops and seminars; band, athletic, and cheer practices and travel; extended time for homework, research, and writing; and down time for relaxing, reading, hanging out with friends, and sleeping.
“Flexible Fridays not only give students more time to study and catch up on schoolwork, but also more flexibility for extracurricular events and free time for things outside of school,” said John Samuel Cason ’23, a biochemistry major from Boaz, Alabama.
English major Bekka Wriston ’23 of Enterprise, Alabama, concurred, saying, “I love that this schedule gives me the opportunity to pursue more than I would with a typical Monday-Friday schedule. My Fridays can be dedicated to LSAT studies, general studies, finding different outlets to serve the community, or taking a mental health day!”
“When I write, I need time to collect my thoughts and put those thoughts on paper,” said Brandon Welcher ’25, a business major from Alexander City, Alabama. “Flexible Fridays give me long periods of time when I can concentrate on the papers I need to write. Being able to spend the time I need dials back the stress I feel when I need to get papers written.”
“I enjoy Flexible Fridays because they give me a chance to relax and take a break from the stressful week,” said Brooke Register ’24 of Elba, Alabama, who is majoring in psychology. “They also give me more time to get homework done without feeling rushed.”
Jimmy Schomburg ’24, a communication studies major from Decatur, Alabama, had similar thoughts, saying, “”I like Flexible Fridays because they give me more time over the weekend to get work done, and it is easier for me to go home on the weekends without too much hassle.”
Anthony Leigh, senior vice president for student and institutional development and dean of students, said that he has heard only positive reviews on the Flexible Friday schedule, from staff and faculty as well as students. “Two of the chief concerns we heard when we proposed the schedule included worries that students would not get as much class time as in the traditional schedule the College observed previously, and that students would go home more often during the weekends,” said Leigh. “Neither is true. First, student class time is almost exactly the same, if not a bit longer, than in the previous schedule. Second, you only have to look at our full residence hall parking lots and capacity crowds for weekend athletic events to know that students are staying on campus for the weekend, even with Fridays off.”
“I haven’t heard a single negative review about Flexible Fridays,” said Mara Durham, a senior psychology major from Panama City, Florida. “Students, faculty, and staff all say they love the new schedule.”
Huntingdon College, founded in 1854, continues a legacy of faith, wisdom, and service through a liberal arts academic tradition grounded in the Judeo-Christian heritage of the United Methodist Church.