Here you will find information about the duties and membership of the Calendar & Schedule Committee (CSC).
Division of the Day Guidelines
In order to protect the wealth and diversity of activities available to students at Williams—first academics, but also athletics, the arts, cultural events, volunteer work, evening speakers, and evening exams—the College has reserved the hours of 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday as well as 7:00 pm to 9:40 pm Monday evening for academic courses. All required class meetings and curricular activities, including tutorial meetings should be scheduled during these hours. Unless meeting in the Monday evening time slot, all classes, including labs, should conclude by the end of the academic day, 4:00 pm. All other activities, including practices and rehearsals, should be scheduled outside of that time. As a rule, athletic practices begin at 4:15 pm.
Exceptions to Division of the Day
The CSC must approve all exceptions to Division of the Day. Course instructors who plan an academic activity that falls outside of Division of the Day and where attendance is mandatory (evening exam, film screening, performance, field trip) must petition the CSC for approval. Email David Zimmerman, Chair and Kath Kilventon, Registrar.
Courses may hold evening examinations (except on Monday evenings) with the approval of the CSC. One class must be cancelled for each evening exam. In cases where conflicts occur between requested times for evening exams in different courses, or where the student enrollment for simultaneously scheduled exams overlaps significantly, the Chair of CSC will ask the relevant course instructors to try to work it out between themselves.
- Before scheduling an evening exam time, please check the schedule of already-approved evening exams and if possible, avoid conflicts.
- Use the Evening Exam form to submit your request.
- Exam times must be offered one ending by 7:45 pm to accommodate 8:00 pm rehearsals and a later one starting no earlier than 7:15 pm to accommodate athletics.
- Alternative arrangements must be made for students with legitimate conflicts.
- Exam rooms can be reserved through the online room scheduling system. If you have difficulty, please contact x4191.
- Please include evening exam dates in the course syllabus, and announce all required evening exam dates in class before the end of drop/add period, so that students are aware of this requirement.
Class Field Trips
Class field trips (one per course) do not require approval by the CSC, but faculty should make a good-faith effort to schedule trips to minimize conflicts with students’ other academic and extracurricular commitments.
- Instructors planning a course field trip must notify the CSC before the start of classes.
- Please list the trip and the date on the course syllabus, and advise students to check with other instructors during the first week about missing class for the trip.
- Although you do not need approval from the CSC for one field trip per course, you do need approval for more than one; please provide the CSC Chair with the name of the course, the place of the field trip, and the date of any field trip taken, including the date and time of any field trip and the name of the course, so that we can list it.
Class Meetings Outside Regular Hours
- All class meetings should be scheduled during the regular class hours described above.
- Exceptions must be approved by the CSC. Course instructors should make a good faith effort to assure that enrolled students can attend without conflict.
Class Events Outside Regular Hours
Some important class activities, such as attendance at performances or evening lectures, cannot be scheduled during regular class hours.
- Course instructors who wish to make attendance at specific events mandatory—with no flexibility in allowing students to avoid conflicts with other commitments—must seek approval from the CSC.
- The CSC does not need to approve these events when attendance at an event is optional (i.e., missing a particular event does not affect a student’s grade), or when students may choose among several evenings or several events.
- Please list optional or required dates for class meetings outside of regular hours on the course syllabus and announce those dates in class before the end of drop/add period so that students are aware of course requirements.
Athletic Conflicts During Regular Hours
As noted above, all extra-curricular activities including athletic practices and suiting up should be scheduled outside of regular class hours.
- Athletic competitions involve the coordination of schedules with other schools, and travel to competitions may conflict with Division of the Day guidelines. Please refer to this list of such potential conflicts, which are monitored by the Athletics Committee.
- Course instructors should expect students to consult with them at least a week before missing classes.
- Concerns over athletic conflicts should be addressed to the Athletics Committee.
75 Minute Class Hour Blocks
- MWF 8:30-9:45 am (O block)
- MWF 11:00 am-12:15 pm (P block)
Classes scheduled during these time blocks will meet two of the three days based on the instructor’s weekly schedule preference.
Exceptions to Class Hours
Any teaching faculty who would like an exception to the established class hour blocks must complete the Class Hour Exception form.
Experimental Class Hours
These are the experimental class hours that were voted in by the faculty, for academic years 2016-17 and 2017-18:
- (Hx) Monday and Wednesday 7:00-8:15 pm (2 x 75 minutes)
- (Ix) Monday and Wednesday 8:25-9:40 pm (2 x 75 minutes)
- (Jx) Wednesday 7:00-9:40 pm (240 minutes)
The experiment runs through Spring 2018, then the CSC will review and analyze the data that was collected.
The experimental class hours are discontinued for the academic year 2018-19.
It is the sole discretion of the individual instructor to excuse or not excuse absences due to athletics (e.g., games), academics (e.g., field trips in other classes), or any other type of conflict. Faculty should include their attendance policy in writing in the course syllabus and to announce that policy in class before the end of drop/add period, so that students are aware of course requirements.
Concerns over any type of conflicts should be addressed to the CSC.
This is a reminder that, in order to celebrate Mountain Day, classes will be cancelled at the President's discretion on one of the first three Fridays in October. This traditional and unique feature of the Williams calendar may pose some complications for those who teach or schedule other activities on Fridays. Please keep it in mind as you plan assignments, exams, speakers and other activities.
Although Mountain Day may complicate our lives in some ways, it is important to note that we are not losing a class day. By faculty approval, an extra Friday has been added at the end of the semester, delaying the beginning of exams by one day.
For those of you new to Williams or still confused by the local customs, we reproduce here the helpful explanation of Mountain Day found on the College web site:
The first known allusion to Mountain Day is made by Williams president Edward Dorr Griffin in his notebook on college business. Under 'Holidays' he writes: "About the 24th of June a day to go to the mountain. If not then about the 14th of July. Prayers at night." —Edward Dorr Griffin. Williams College directory containing the code of common law 1827. (Williamstown, 1827)
On May 12, 1830 a group of students directed by college President Edward Dorr Griffin, improved and further cut a trail from the end of the Hopper Road to the summit. Today this route is the Hopper Trail, on which a traditional climb up Greylock by Williams students continues each fall during "Mountain Day." —From a Wikipedia entry on Mount Greylock
Today Mountain Day occurs during fall foliage season on one of the first three Fridays in October, when it is declared by the President and announced with the ringing of the Chapel bells. It is considered a 'free day' in which students may or may not elect to commune with nature (prayers also are optional). Dining Services provides a meal at one or more designated sites for all intrepid enough to make the hike or climb. If Mountain Day does not occur on one of the first two Fridays of October, then it will be held on the third Friday of October regardless of weather, and alternative activities will be planned in the event of inclement weather.
Members of the Williams community are invited to bring general or specific concerns regarding calendar and schedule matters (and even about Mountain Day) to the Calendar and Schedule Committee.
Chairs and Administrative Assistants will receive an email from the Registrar's Office with the subject line "Class Hour Requests 2018-19"—this email includes a link to a Google sheets workbook.
- Click on the "Class Hours" tab to schedule your courses.
- Class Hours are due February 23.
- Black triangles in the top right corner of cells indicate there are instructions for filling out a particular column—simply hover over the cell with your mouse.
- Drop-down menus, where appropriate, have been provided for ease of scheduling.
- Please stay within the established scheduling guidelines indicated at the top of your sheet.
- This Class Hours Grid shows over- and under-utilized class blocks.
- Before the deadline, make sure to download a copy of your schedule for your records—access to the spreadsheet will be turned off shortly after the deadline.
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