JMU Faculty Attempting to Curb Student Partying

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

HARRISONBURG,Va. (WHSV) -- JMU faculty thought about the links between student's ability to drink heavily and frequently while also facing the academic challenges students face in their courses and decided on a plan to moderate the partying.

JMU sophomore Justin Dore takes school seriously, but also likes his social life.

"We do all this work during the week, the weekends are our time to relax and have a great time with our friends," said Dore.

Carol Hurney is a biology professor and Director of the Center for Faculty Innovation. After long discussions, the faculty decided to try something new.

"Allow students the opportunity to have decisions to make. If they don't have a decision to make, then some of the other ones are easier to make. So I think what we're trying to do is to integrate more opportunities for students to make academic decisions," said Hurney.

So faculty intentionally plan assignments around times when students will be likely to engage in poor behavior.

"I think they tend to coincide with times when we know students are going to gather for big events," said Hurney.

Hurney said the intention was not to overwhelm students or take away from social activities, but Dore is learning to make better decisions.

"I'd still go out if it was Halloween, I would either get the paper done right away or do it on Sunday," said Dore.

The best way to do this was to shy away from the traditional midterm and final exam.

"Try to spread work throughout the aced mic year, hoping that it would have a variety of impacts, most notably that we'd have better learning," said Hurney.

Dore noticed this is a common theme in his classes.

"Originally when I heard about college it was midterm and final, but now there's like 3 tests and quizzes between the tests," said Dore

All the assignments won't stop him from having a good time, but it will force him to make good decisions.

"I know that sometimes if I have something really big and important I'll take it easy one night in particular just so I can get my work done," said Dore.

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