Kent’s Hours System

Leo Huang, Campus Reporter

Though not very much appreciated among students, the Kent hours system is a well-developed system to help students stay on the right track in the community. 

Though it does serve as a punishment, the hour system intends to have a restorative purpose, in that, if someone has done something in the community that in some way harms the community, one has to work in the community to contribute and give back. “Some people may question, how does attendance harm the community? It is actually a burden to everyone else, for example, the person checking you in or tracking you down,” explained Mr. Reinhardt, Kent’s Dean of Students. “We know that it is not a well-perceived thing and it’s not designed to be.”

The hour system is also ever-evolving. “We think that the hour system is an imperfect system. In fact, any system is imperfect,” said Reinhardt, but the Deans’ Office has done its best effort to make the system more restorative and less transactional. “By this I mean that teachers now will have more and more conversations with students to build up the relationship. When they see a student do something they will ask what’s going on, instead of simply giving an hour. And if it keeps being an issue, then the student will receive an hour. We are trying to make hours an option of the outcome, instead of the outcome itself,” Reinhardt further explained. In the future, he expects to make some slight changes to the hour system, including more options for students to “work off” hours in ways that help the community. 

“Receiving an hour doesn’t make you a bad person,” said Reinhardt. “We are trying many tools to make students better, more independent, and more responsible. The hour system is one of them. In fact, we don’t want anybody to get hours. This would be the best result.”