Friday Class Offerings Significantly Expanded
During the recent registration for classes, students found that Yeshiva College has significantly expanded the number of Friday course offerings available in the coming spring semester.
The courses offered this spring come from a cross-section of majors, but core courses and other requirements are the most popular. Diaspora Literature, taught by Elizabeth Stewart, and Courts and Social Change, taught by Akiva Covitz, which satisfy the COWC and the HBSI core categories, respectively, have each reached the maximum number of students permitted.
Yeshiva College Associate Dean of Operations and Student Affairs Fred Sugarman expressed excitement over the changes. “Invariably, our students have time conflicts and have to give up many classes they might actually enjoy.” The addition of Friday classes would, he added, give students more flexibility with their weekly schedules, as well as offer them a class option without the stress of the dual curriculum, with a full week between sessions, and with sufficient time to discuss complex ideas at length.
Students' reactions were mixed. “Friday classes are awesome because they make your week really free,” said Chaim Metzger. “If you wanted to have a job on Friday you can't do Friday classes, but for anyone else, I would say they are definitely beneficial. You have more free time, learn more stuff, and teachers are more laid back.” Ari Tepler was less impressed. “The idea of taking a class on Friday is daunting. With the heavy schedule of a YU student from Monday through Thursday, come Thursday afternoon, I am looking towards the relief of the weekend, not the stress of another long night followed by a day of class.”
Other students expressed concerns that Friday classes would limit their ability to travel before Shabbat, with the time for candle lighting as early as 4:51 on the first Friday of the semester. Another had a less conventional take, suggesting that “overtired classmates make for enlightening and fascinating discussions.”
In total, registration for Friday courses for the spring semester is more than double that of the fall. The period for registration ends February 9.