The Red and Black Editorial: FAST: Quarantine or quintessential?

FAST is a lot different from last year. Are the new changes for better or for worse. We weigh in the changes this month.

Photo by: Abbi Gierer

FAST is a lot different from last year. Are the new changes for better or for worse. We weigh in the changes this month.

Red and Black Staff

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This school year has launched many changes, especially involving FAST. These changes are highly debated amongst the student body. FAST is supposed to be Focused Academic Study Time, a study hall where students can work on homework or get help in a class they are struggling with. Unfortunately, what FAST has become is more of a student quarantine.
Students are restricted to their assigned classroom for a designated 45 minutes every day. You would think FAST would be the best time to use the restroom, go to the library, or get something from the office, as you would not miss any of the lecture or disturb any other classes.
To the contrary, students are not allowed to leave FAST unless they have a specific pass from the office that they have to get ahead of time. Students that trek from the third floor of JCHS to the second floor of Nichols will tell you that the five minute passing period allotted just is not enough time to climb all of those stairs and stop by the overloaded office to get a pass.
Students that do not need to go to the academic lab may sit quietly and do their work, except for the first five to ten minutes where the silence is deluded by blaring music over the intercom and is followed by announcements that only half the students actually listen to. The last 35 minutes are all to the students; they can do what they need to do.
Regrettably, the class, in some circumstances, is used for students to socialize, nap, or play games on their iPad. It’s not entirely their fault though – students are locked down to their desks, forbidden to turn their head to look at the clock, ask a classmate a question, or pop in an earbud to get their focus on.
Focused Academic Study Time has been thrown out the window and replaced with either a prison cell or a party, and neither scenario allows students to use the bathroom. For FAST to be used effectively, there needs to be a middle ground, or we should just give the students the extra 45 minutes to sleep.
Either way, FAST is not being utilized by the students or staff effectively, and changes should be made.