Students Split Over Decision to End Five Star Fridays

UA leaders have announced the elimination of the short-lived four-day class schedule due to numerous factors.

Five-Star Fridays was first implemented by former UA
President Matthew Wilson.

(Graphic via The University of Akron)

Five-Star Fridays was first implemented by former UA President Matthew Wilson.

By Kaitee Horstmann, Copy Editor

Students at The University of Akron are left with mixed opinions as several campus leaders announced that Five Star Fridays will be gradually coming to an end in the coming semesters.

Five Star Fridays utilizes a four-day schedule where students must schedule their classes for Monday through Thursday so they can use their time on Friday for extracurricular activities.

First implemented in Fall 2018, the goal was to give students more time to participate in cooperative education and gain work experience, as well as engage in internships, co-curricular activities, research, lab work and more

“I think five star Fridays are a good idea in theory,”Jeremy Noll, a graduate security studies major, said. “But there were problems with the implementation, and I think in general the elimination will benefit students.”

The four-day schedule is coming to an end largely due to scheduling issues that students like Noll have been facing, as it is difficult to fit all of the classes they need into a four-day week. 

“When I got to Akron, I was happy to find out that Fridays were open so I could use the time for myself and work an internship,” Noll said. “But I did notice the negative impact on my class schedule like having classes that can go until 9:45 at night during the week.”

At the end of the Spring 2019 semester, a committee of faculty and staff decided to end Five Star Fridays after reviewing data from a survey, along with data from other colleges regarding participation in Friday activities and input from academic advisors.

Cristine Boyd, UA’s director of media relations, said the data showed students enjoyed having career-focused opportunities and activities on Fridays, as well as having the day off.

“But we also heard that the four-day academic week made it difficult for many to balance class, work, internships, studying and family time,” Boyd said. “The condensed schedule also gave them less time to participate in college life.”

While some students like Noll agree that the execution of the schedule could’ve been better, others are upset about Five Star Fridays coming to an end as they are working their way through college and having the whole day to work helps them pay the bills. 

“Now having classes on Fridays will really be messing with my money,” Diamond Johnson-Hannan, a senior social work major, said. “I work on Fridays and now I won’t be able to work the whole day so I won’t make as much money.”

While student opinion on the change is split, there is still hope for students who enjoy their four-day class schedule, as the switch back to a five-day week will be gradual with changes beginning next semester.

“We are relaxing the class scheduling to include Fridays to ensure that we’re giving students more opportunity to succeed academically and to meet life’s other obligations,” Boyd said. “Students will be able to schedule to best meet their needs.”