Noon Classes Cut, Dining Halls Crowd

This year, the 5Cs eliminated the 12:00 p.m. class time slot, causing longer lunch lines with no classes to mitigate the influx of students into the dining halls at that time. Some have speculated that the decision to remove the class time slot was because the 5C administrations wanted to make sure that students had enough time to eat lunch. However, after reaching out to CMC administration, it appears that there were actually three unrelated reasons for the change in policy.

First, the class time slot had previously been from 12:00 to 1:10 p.m. and, therefore, five minutes shorter than other time slots that also met twice a week. Clearly, this was an issue that needed to be resolved. Although five minutes does not seem like much on a class-to-class basis (and most students would probably welcome a shorter class), it adds up over time. This would mainly be an issue if a professor teaches the same class during any other time slot, as the two may begin to progress at different rates.

The second reason the 5C administrations decided to get rid of the 12:00 p.m. class slot is that it only allowed for five minutes of passing time for students to get to classes immediate afterward, in the 1:15 p.m. time slot, which is one-third of the normal 15 minute passing times allotted between classes. Again, it appears here that a logistical issue is what motivated the elimination of the class slot. This was an issue for many students, particularly those who, say, had a 12:00 p.m. class at CMC and then a 1:15 p.m. class at Pomona or Pitzer. Five minutes is hardly even enough time to get across CMC’s campus from Bauer to Kravis, let alone across the 5Cs.

The final reason given by the administration for the change is that Pomona did not have that same time slot, which was a concern for cross-campus registration. Indeed, without consistency throughout the 5Cs in terms of class time slots, cross-campus registration becomes very difficult, which is an aspect that attracted many students to consortium style enjoyed by the Claremont Colleges in the first place.

Although these were definitely problems worthy of addressing, there is still some debate over whether this was the most practical way to solve these logistical issues.

“Personally, I always liked teaching at noon,” CMC’s Interim Dean of Faculty Nicholas Warner said in an email to the Claremont Independent. Warner also noted that “to some extent, the shift to common course times among the Claremont Colleges had the unintended consequence of impacting lunch.”

“I am hopeful that we will straighten out the schedule and offer noon classes again and relieve the pressure on Collins,” Warner said.

It is quite evident that the current long lunch lines are a direct result of removing time 12:00 p.m. class time slot; however, the motivation for the policy change was not 5C administrations trying to ensure that every student had time to eat lunch, as widely speculated. Rather, it was merely an unintended consequence of trying to allow for easier cross-campus registration.

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