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What students, faculty have to say about classes exceeding time limits

Students described varying accounts of professors going over the time allotted for their classes, with some going over by only a short time and others exceeding 30 minutes. – Photo by

For many college students, making a schedule for the day according to one’s class schedule is a daily routine, but sometimes students are met with the unpredictability of professors going over their allotted class time.

Students described their own experiences with professors going over class time and their thoughts on when it is acceptable and when it is not.

Jonathan Ro, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, said he had a class where the professor was supposed to end at 4 p.m. but went until 4:30 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. He said he became bored during class due to the professor repeating himself but stayed in order to avoid missing anything for the next week.

"It kind of sucks that you have to tell the teacher that you have to leave — even if they are saying some information, the student has to go,” Ro said. “And then they have no idea what to do, and that makes (it) the teacher’s fault because … he or she should know the time in which class is supposed to be over.”

Ro said that if Rutgers needs to find a way to get professors to end on time, they can try implementing a timer such as a school bell to alert professors to stop what they are doing and end class.

Mel Resende, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year, said she has experienced a professor going over time in her courses just once so far, and not for long.

“We were watching a video, and she just wanted to finish the video before we ended the lecture,” she said. “I didn’t think much about it … I had no classes after that class, so it didn’t really matter for me.”

Resende said that if professors want to keep their students over time, it should be for a good reason due to students often needing to catch a bus in order to get to another class.

Arly Ramirez, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, said she has felt annoyed by professors going more than 10 minutes over class time and that this has caused her inconvenience by making her late to classes that she must travel to by bus.

"I think 5 minutes is good, but then anything after that would be unacceptable just because some of us have to get to other campuses," she said.

On the other hand, Steven Miller, professor of professional practice and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies, said it is great under normal circumstances that professors are going over class time because it means they are conveying a lot of information or are involved in a vibrant discussion.

"Telling me … when I should end my course if I'm trying to make a point that's very pertinent, to me, is a violation of my academic freedom to be able to express this," he said.

Miller said that students should not be worried about the time but instead appreciate the present moment in the classroom because they are never going to have such an educational opportunity again.

Laura Hydak, a teaching assistant in the English Department, said that she has occasionally kept students after class but never more than 5 minutes after class was supposed to end.

“It's unprofessional for teachers to start or end class late … and should not happen on a regular basis,” she said. “If I've kept students late, it was usually to make sure that I (communicated) important information about upcoming assignments.”

Though, she said she thinks students can give the professor a few minutes to wrap up the class before walking out of the classroom.

John Cramer, director of public and media relations for the University, said that both professors and students should work together to adhere to scheduled course times.

"The University has no policy that speaks to this issue, but faculty and students are encouraged to adhere to scheduled course times, to respect each other's time commitments and to work together and with their undergraduate chair or deans to resolve any questions over such issues," he said.

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