Professors need to stay within scheduled time for lectures

Hairuo Yi

This past year has been hard for many students in terms of academic changes, financial instability and mental health. In a UT Student Government COVID-19 student impact survey completed in Spring 2020, 44% of almost 500 students surveyed had said at least one of these three factors had impacted them since the start of the pandemic.

For many students, it’s hard enough to focus during lecture times and make it to other classes. While professors may believe that without physical commute times, going over lecture limits is more justifiable. But with so many stressful factors, students don’t need inconsistent class times that are more detrimental to their mental health and education.

Professors must follow University-set time limits for their lectures out of  respect for students’ time and well-being.

According to the UT Catalog, “Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes normally begin on the hour and are dismissed after 50 minutes; Tuesday/Thursday classes normally begin on the hour or half-hour as appropriate and are dismissed after 75 minutes.”

Students are expected to come into lecture ready to respect their professors’ time and follow expectations on their syllabi, but some professors are running longer than allotted by University schedules.

Biology freshman Genevieve Clemons said professors running overtime is very frustrating. In one of her classes, lectures sometimes run over half an hour longer than stated, but her professor was less than responsive when she reached out about her concerns.

“As a student, I’m told my expectations for the course on the syllabus, I show up on time and I’m respectful of their time when they start their lecture,” Clemons said. “It feels justified that I would ask for a similar respect in the sense that they won’t go over and use my time when I have other classes to go to.”

Additionally, professors who run overtime affect students’ preparation for other classes later on their schedule. 

“It is tough anytime that you’re in a class and supposed to have that 10-minute mental break, especially if you have a class right after,” Clemons said. “It  affects you to show up late for a lecture and usually most of my teachers start right at the starting time with no buffer. ”

Associate chemistry professor Kami Hull said professors going over scheduled lecture times may often be due to the gap in communication that happens between teachers and students during virtual learning.

“It can be hard because there’s so much less interaction (on Zoom),” Hull said. “Usually people would start putting away their notebooks and backpacks near the end, but on Zoom, most students don’t have their cameras on and the same cues to tell time aren’t there.” 

While online classes and communication are new to professors, they are also new to students who have their own schedule and classes to attend. In this online environment, professors need to be respectful of students’ time and well-being more than ever before.

Yi is a psychology freshman from Lubbock, Texas.