Sagehens who greet the morning with a groan rather than a chirp can take heart in one silver lining: there used to be a 7:30 a.m. class slot. Back in 1930, The Student Life chronicled the campus debate over a proposal to push classes all the way back to 8 a.m.
The Dec. 3, 1930 issue of TSL reported that members of the Courses Study Committee were “carefully studying the matter” and would bring their findings in front of the faculty once they had properly surveyed the situation. TSL of Jan. 20, 1931, would then report a new schedule taking effect the following year, with classes beginning at 8.
And in making their case, the sleep-seeking students got an assist from an editorial, written by Clifford N. Hand, that appeared in Pomona College Magazine:
“The spectacle, always available at 7:29 a.m.–of students frantically crossing College Avenue, manipulating a sandwich with one hand and making final and necessary adjustments of raiment with the other, is not edifying. And a bunch of sleepy students taking notes from a sleepy prof is not inspiring to either party. There are those who opine that this is the best hour of the day, but the weight of evidence seems to indicate that the majority holds otherwise.”
Hand goes on to concede that “of course, students and instructors could retire early enough to get the eight hours rest required by hygienic law but college academic and social program makes this difficult for both.”
These days, 8 a.m. is still the earliest class slot, a realm occupied by Organic Chemistry, some elementary language classes and various P.E. courses.
But walk on College Avenue at 7:30 a.m., and you won’t see a soul.