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4 a.m. classes, 8 a.m. movie nights, 7 a.m. Lawnparties. These were all cited during a recent Undergraduate Student Government (USG) meeting, where representatives voiced concerns from domestic students that international students have an advantage when it comes to remote learning.
“The everyday 9 to 5 class schedule is incredibly mundane,” said Chad Rogers ’23 from upstate New York, in an interview with The Daily Princetonian. “I go to bed at night, wake up in the morning and just start my classes, I’ve literally never been more bored.”
Rogers assumed his peers were all experiencing the same schedule, until he had a transformative conversation with Introduction to Psychology (PSY 101) classmate Mia Smith, a sophomore from Tokyo, Japan.
Rogers noted that it was following a FaceTime call with Smith at 3 a.m. her time, and 1 p.m. his time, that he finally realized what he was missing out on.
“The thrill of waking up in the middle of the night and beginning a two-hour long Zoom lecture, falling asleep for an hour and waking up shortly after for a virtual club meeting is the level of excitement I could only dream of during this online semester,” he said
Rogers was not the only student expressing such sentiments. Cindy Boohoo, a junior from Atlanta, also shared dissatisfaction with her current timezone.
“I so wish I could take my classes at 3 a.m.,” Boohoo wrote in an email statement to the ‘Prince.’ “Not only would it make lectures more interesting, but it would be way more productive because I have literally nothing else going on at that time except for sleeping — which all Princeton students know isn’t that important anyway.”
James McAvoy, an international student from Singapore, commented on his experience as a student 13 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
“This past semester I’ve essentially become nocturnal,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s the seven cups of coffee I drink every evening or just the natural high I get from having the opportunity to stay up all night on Zoom, but the experience is truly unmatched.”
McAvoy added that he feels domestic students are “missing out” on this experience, and fully understands the plight they are facing as they struggle with the monotony of a regular daytime class schedule.
Since the USG meeting on Monday, Rogers has circulated a petition calling for the University to adjust class schedules for domestic students to allow them to have the unmatched “international student experience.” Rogers has received overwhelming support, and the petition has since garnered over 800 signatures.
The petition calls for an increase of classes offered from 1 to 3 a.m. EST, office hours from 4 a.m. onwards, and USG movie nights at 8 a.m. Rogers has implored the University to take immediate action on this issue.
“It is my hope that the University understands and responds to our requests,” he wrote. “Since Princeton prides itself on supporting all of its students, it is critical that we amend domestic students’ schedules for the remainder of remote learning.”