Behind the university’s decision to change class start times

Students no longer have to rush to classes. Photo by Faith Delamarter


Butler implemented a new scheduling grid this school year that extends the time between most classes from 10 to 15 minutes. 

While this adjustment may seem like a minor change, Associate Provost Travis Ryan said that the project, fronted largely by associate deans across campus, has been in development for about a year. 

“Once we took possession of South Campus, [we] noticed that students were having real challenges getting in between South Campus and main campus if they have classes back-to-back,” Ryan said. “[It was] proposed that we could resolve this by switching the passing period between classes from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. But in order to do that, we had to make a number of other changes as well.” 

Butler began holding classes on South Campus during the 2018-19 academic year. Other buildings that are not on the university’s main campus, such as the Jordan Annex and Hinkle Fieldhouse, have also made getting across campus in time difficult for many students. 

Senior biochemistry major Madeline Gilbert said that although she usually does not have to travel far for classes, a 15-minute passing period would have been helpful when she did have to go to South Campus. 

“I remember always fast walking and getting to my next class out of breath and already stressed,” Gilbert said. 

Altering the passing period has forced some class times to change. Ryan said that a 15-minute passing period works well with a 75-minute class period, creating 90-minute blocks that can  just be repeated throughout each day. 

In implementing this campus-wide change, various organizations were consulted, including the Division of Student Affairs and the Student Government Association as well as representatives from all seven colleges on campus. 

“We even talked to university dining because we knew that by rearranging when classes take place, it might rearrange their busiest parts of the day,” Ryan said. 

Ryan said that although some programs also struggled with the new schedule, they have done their best to minimize changes throughout their plans. 

“For new students and new faculty, this will be the only thing that they’ve ever known,” Ryan said. “And in a few years, it won’t be called the new grid anymore. It [will] just be the grid.” 


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