The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Athletes press for schedule change

By Federico Burlon

The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), together with faculty, staff and coaches, began last year to explore alternatives to the current class schedule, citing concerns that student athletes miss afternoon practices because of afternoon classes. The current schedule also impedes other students from attending various extra-curricular activities, some say.

According to Athletic Director Travis Feezell, classes and labs that fall between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. allow student teams a maximum of two hours of practice each day. Classes that start at 7 p.m. also complicate the issue, Feezell said.

“All should be able to attend both classes and practices,” said George Robbins ’07, a SAAC member.

“We are now trying to understand what the conflicts are,” Feezell said. “We are gathering information about schedules.”

“This is the most formal they have gotten,” Robbins said of the discussions of an alternative schedule.

Macalester is not the only school experiencing this phenomenon. According to Feezell, some schools have instituted an activity period without classes in the afternoon.

“Others moved classes later in the evening, providing the same classes earlier in the day, so that both athletes and students could attend.” Feezell said.

In the coming weeks SAAC is preparing a document about this situation to be submitted to Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Affairs Laurie Hamre and to the Registrar’s office.

Robbins said that informal discussions have been taking place between SAAC and the administration, despite the “difficulty of the issue” and how “busy everybody is at Mac,” Robbins said.

Even though the investigation is still at a preliminary phase, SAAC has already devised some ideas that would possibly be presented in order to change the situation. Robbins suggested, for example, an overall schedule change.

Another alternative would be to give athletes food tickets.

“If athletes want to practice they either miss classes or dinner,” Robbins said.

Depending on the course of the conversations and the investigations, proposals for changes might be submitted either next year or in two years to the Educational Policy and Governance Committee (EPAG), a faculty committee whose chair, History professor Peter Weisensel, said that the committee has received neither proposals nor any kind of complaint about athletes missing practice.

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