Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Late Afternoon Crickets
At my college, the classrooms are pretty much empty by 3:00. They stay empty until the evening classes start – most at 6:00, some at 6:30. That’s an awfully long dead period five days a week.
At 4:00, you could bowl in the hallways and not hit anybody. Sometimes I think I hear crickets, or the gentle sound of tumbleweeds blowing in the distance.
We’ve tried running classes in the dreaded ‘twilight’ hours, but other than a few nursing labs (we have so much demand in that program that students will take whatever they can get), we’ve had too few takers to make it worthwhile. So the classrooms sit.
As a cc, sports are a limited presence, so that’s not really the issue. Day students like to get out by the early afternoon to go to their jobs, or just to go home. Night students usually have day jobs, so they really can’t get here before 5:30 or 6:00.
Has your college found a way to use its facilities productively in the late afternoons? I’m stumped, and we’re hurting enough financially that it seems silly to let all these fixed costs quietly mount.
Over here at SNEPU we have a time of the day on Tuesdays and Thursdays called "Happy Hour," which is the designated meeting time. Faculty members have their department meetings at that time, and the students have their club meetings. Would that work?
Otherwise, I agree with Joanna--rent the space out to organizations. It sounds like the perfect time of day for high school after-school programs...