One of the great things about Saint Joe’s is the connection that students have with their professors. This is one of the key talking points that any Hawk Host is sure to mention on any of their tours. “Our 11:1 student-faculty ratio, and our 40-student cap in each class is how most professors get to know the students on a first-name basis.” By now, most Hawk Hosts could say this phase backwards. However, this idea of knowing your professor by name only goes so far. Most students don’t know that every professor and teaching assistant at SJU is required to hold open office hours weekly for students to stop by and talk for a one-on-one chat. The question is: why don’t more students take advantage of this?

Ted Dolan on his way to office hours in Bronstien. Photo taken by Emily Cuccio.

Aidyn, a junior, tells me that office hours are the resource that got her through her freshman year. “The amount of times that Dr. Bhatt gave help with classes and also just life advice is limitless,” says Aidyn. She further explained that, as a freshman, she spent a large amount of her time each week talking with Dr. Bhatt and Tom Sheibley, a theology professor and director of campus ministry, about all things school and life. Having the opportunity to meet with her professors in a one-on-one environment gave Aidyn the chance to learn deeper about her professors, her academic choices, and her future. 

The welcoming office of the english department. Photo by Emily Cuccio.

On the other hand, Michael, a sophomore, admitted to me that he has never gone to office hours, outside of the required meetings with his advisor during his freshman year. “Honestly, I don’t really see the point… I’ve never needed it,” says Michael. Though Michael claims that his grades have never fallen below average, he does admit that he wishes he took the time to talk with his professors about the classes he will have to take in the future. Typically, he relies on the online class list to plan his future semesters, when he could speak in person with someone who knows best about his curriculum. 

Overall, we can see that professors’ office hours are an incredibly useful resource for all students at SJU. Whether or not the students use them, office hours continue to be required for all professors at SJU. So, if a student ever wants to chat about class material, academic planning, or life in general, they can stop by their professors office and take advantage of the useful one-on-one time. 

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