Science students are having to choose between sports and their own studies due to a timetable clash

‘If I didn’t play rugby I would hate my university life’ – Students forced to choose: sports or lectures?

Kingston University science student and vice president of the Kingston rugby team Oliver Giles-Day.Photo by Kent Olsen                                                      

KU science students are being forced to sacrifice their studies if they want to play sport on a Wednesday afternoon.

Oliver Giles-Day, vice president of Kingston’s rugby team, said he was forced to decide between attending lectures and playing sport because a core module clashes with sports activities.

“If I didn’t play rugby, I would hate my university life,” said Oliver. “I made most of my friends at university through the rugby team and playing sports.”

“For a lot of people sport is one of the things that make their university experience.”

In previous years, students have had Wednesday afternoons free for sports and extracurricular activities. However, many students are now facing the dilemma and are making complaints to the science faculty.

A Kingston University spokeswoman said: “The University recognises the strong feelings among students, especially those involved in sports clubs, about keeping Wednesday afternoons free.

Balance

“We are always striving to achieve a balance between providing teaching spaces, which gives students the best possible educational experience as well as giving them the opportunity to take part in clubs and societies.”

She added: “Our aim is for no classes or lectures to be scheduled at that time and during the last few years there has been a reduction in the number of rooms booked for teaching on Wednesdays. 

“We are unable to introduce a blanket ban on lectures that take place on Wednesday afternoons. This is because of the constant high demand for University teaching space and because of ongoing building works designed to enhance the students’ learning experience which may necessitate some timetabling of classes on Wednesday afternoons.”

Text books

Oliver said: “Unfortunately I am having to miss lectures and catch up via the PowerPoint slides and reading text books.”

He said that if he did not have rugby, his studies would have been affected.

“I would have done a lot worse in my first year; this is why I think it is so important for people to play sports,” he said.

“You meet a lot of people you make a lot of friends.It motivates you and gives you some downtime to get your mind away from the stresses of university work and learning.”

Senior course representative for biomedical science, Elaha Walizadah, will be taking the issue to the Student Staff Consultative Committee to discuss solutions to the problem. She said: “I can’t blame the university because it is a rooming problem and nothing can be done until a new room or lecture hall is built.”

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