Debate: Is Tech time worth keeping?

Rebecca Barkdoll, Opinion Editor

Round 1

Side 1: The idea that starting our classes five minutes after the hour is an odd one. Before coming to Michigan Tech, I had never seen anything like it. While it’s a quaint idea, it’s also problematic. One major way that it’s problematic is that it can get us into the bad habit of arriving after the top of the hour. And since it’s unlikely that there are other places that use this system, we end up with the habit of arriving late to everything. I’ve seen this happen constantly with a student organization that I was a part of. Though the schedule said the meeting was at eight pm, hardly anyone was there before five after. Many were even later. What sort of message will we be sending to our future employers if we get into this habit? If we got rid of “Tech Time,” then we’d be much more likely to cultivate habits of promptness.

Side 2: The “Tech Time” system is not only a long-standing Tech system, but it is also the way students have set their schedules for likely their entire college career. Due to the layout of Michigan Tech students either have to drive to class, or walk ten to fifteen minutes to reach their classes. Starting five minutes past the hour allows students a little extra time to reach their class without being late. I don’t agree with the idea that this sets a bad precedent. In most cases you want to arrive before your shift begins, meaning planning on arriving at the top of the hour sets an unhealthy habit of only focusing on being at the workplace just in time to clock in.

Round 2

Side 1: As great as the idea that those extra five minutes before class can really make a difference sounds, that’s actually not quite how it works. Most places end their classes ten minutes till the hour, so it doesn’t matter whether you’re starting a class at 10 and ending at 10:50 or starting a class at 10:05 and ending at 10:55. It’s still a fifty minute class period and a ten minute transition time between classes. As for the argument that it doesn’t make a difference because people should just be prepared to come early: “Tech Time” can still encourage the habit of ignoring the top of the hour because our minds think that we have five more minutes to spare. This mentality is what could cause a habit of being late. It’s also a problem for people who need to be somewhere straight after class. Since most places off campus don’t work on “Tech Time,” but on the top of the hour, it means that there are only five minutes between class and your next scheduled activity. Now, hopefully, people won’t have to schedule things so close together, but wouldn’t it be so much easier if we were on the same page as the rest of the community?

Side 2: By having a “Tech Time” system the students of Michigan Tech are also a little bit happier. A buffer of a few minutes between arrival and class beginning allows a student to prepare their books and materials. Most students will show up before the actual start of class, and the extra five or so minutes can help people get acclimated to class time. It also helps combat the “Clock Watcher” habit we all can form. Although most classes are designed to be 50 minute periods no matter when they start, having them begin and end five minutes before and after the hour almost feels like you’re getting away with something. It helps keep classes from feeling like a drag as time goes on. To sum up, the “Tech Time” tradition is a good thing for the school. Teachers get a little bit of extra time to prep their lesson and students have a little bit of extra time to ready their learning materials.

Side 2 argued by David Disney.