On Tuesday, Student Government introduced legislation in support of increasing the number of classes available on a Monday-Wednesday schedule. The resolution states that if students have more flexibility in choosing their schedules, graduation rates may increase. Although there's not really a way to measure this, it definitely makes sense — low graduation rates can be attributed to many factors, so diminishing the potential severity of one factor won't do any harm.
Also, the legislation, which points out that the McCombs School of Business already offers classes only Monday through Thursday, says students with three-day weekends could work more hours, possibly reducing their debt upon graduation, and would have additional time to learn outside the classroom through interning, doing research or shadowing professionals, among other opportunities. In addition, students without Friday classes would be able to "attend interviews for, but not limited to, graduate schools, professional schools, and long-term employment with limited disruption and absence from current classes."
Cameron Crane, a College of Natural Sciences representative who co-authored the legislation, said he's applying to medical school, and he had to schedule interviews months in advance before professors had posted their syllabi.
"It's very stressful having to take time off from classes," Crane said. "This caused the stress of, ‘will this conflict with an exam?’ and many professors will not excuse you because unfortunately, it's not a University-excused absence."
At least one UT official said meeting three times per week allows more learning to occur, according to Crane. While this may be the case, I doubt the possible increase in learning is a significant enough difference to outweigh the benefits of more time to work, intern and even to study. Personally, I plan to study for at least a few hours on Fridays, because people generally don't plan much during the day on Fridays, so I'll have fewer distractions than on Saturdays and Sundays. Also, if UT included more Monday-Wednesday classes, many professors won't have to break up their lecture material into smaller time segments.
Of course, the school does offer some Monday-Wednesday classes, but the increase in scheduling options will definitely benefit all students — even if some students prefer Monday-Wednesday-Friday classes, it's no doubt comforting for students to know that they have the option to focus their course schedule on the days they think would be best for them.