VSG passes resolution to add five-minute grace period to passing time

This resolution aims to fix a problem some students have with arriving to a class across campus within ten minutes


Emily Gonçalves

Kirkland Hall is home to Vanderbilt administration. Photo by Emily Gonçalves // The Vanderbilt Hustler

Hoon Kim, Staff Writer

VSG passed a resolution proposing the addition of a five minute grace period to the current ten minute interval between classes Nov. 6. Suggested by sophomore Catherine Martinez and proposed by Branscomb Senator Hannah Bruns, the resolution suggests that the Registrar Office provide an extra cushion of time for students that have to travel far distances across campus. 

Martinez approached her senator with this proposal because she had two consecutive classes this past semester in Sutherland House and Furman Hall, and only ten minutes to travel between the two classes. According to Google Maps, the two buildings are 0.8 miles apart and require fifteen minutes of walking at three miles per hour to travel from one to the other. 

“My professor ended up being really understanding about it, so it wasn’t much of an issue, but [having these two classes] made me realize that it could have been very well a serious issue and cause me to graduate late,” Martinez said in an email to The Hustler. “I have friends that are double majoring between schools, and classes from Peabody to main or Blair to main take longer than ten minutes.”

Bruns and Martinez also emphasized economic inclusivity. In the resolution, Bruns writes that problems of economic inclusivity occur because not all students can afford to purchase bikes or rent scooters to arrive at class on time and may be penalized for it. 

During the Senate’s discussion of the resolution, some questioned why passing time was not expanded in total instead of adding an extra cushion time during class. 

“I didn’t want to do that because because I thought administration would be more opposed to that than adding a grace period,” Bruns said. “That’s more broad, institutional and structural change that needs to happen, and that wasn’t something that I thought would be most effective at this time.” 

Bruns and Speaker of the Senate Sean Swinford met with the Office of the University Registrar Nov. 18. and will continue to meet with them to discuss the possible implementation of this five minute grace period. There is no definite answer from the school yet, but Bruns remains positive.

“I’m hoping that administration will be open to talking about this bill,” Bruns said. “So far they seem excited to meet with us, so hopefully good things will come out of our meeting.”