New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Opinion: Stern has a designated ‘lunch hour,’ other schools should too

The Stern School of Business’ “lunch hour” provides a much-needed break for busy and stressed students. NYU’s other schools should implement something similar.
Kiran Komanduri
File photo: The NYU’s Stern School of Business in spring of 2022. (Kiran Komanduri for WSN)

Ever rushed to eat lunch before hopping on a Zoom call, or skipped it altogether due to a packed schedule? NYU’s Stern School of Business has got you covered. The business school has a common hour — or, as the university’s website calls it, a “lunch hour” from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m., during which no classes are scheduled. While a small touch, the period allows students to take a break, make sure they eat and gives student clubs at Stern the chance to meet regularly.

Skipping meals can have detrimental effects on students’ cognitive abilities, energy levels and overall health. If every school at NYU had a dedicated common hour, students would have a designated break to prioritize their health and well-being in their schedules, something many people have probably not had since high school. This not only replenishes students’ energy levels but also enhances concentration and mood, ultimately supporting improved academic performance.

Stern clubs, such as the Entrepreneurial Exchange Group, Finance Society and Undergraduate Stern Women in Business, regularly schedule their meetings, workshops and networking events during the common lunch hour. This timing often poses challenges for students from other schools within NYU, like the College of Arts & Science or the Tisch School of the Arts, to attend clubs at Stern they are interested in. This inclusivity would not only enrich the club experience but also promote interdisciplinary collaboration and networking opportunities across the university.

The middle of the day serves as a prime window for students to engage in networking activities with professionals, such as coffee chats and informational interviews. Many professionals find lunch hours to be the most convenient time for networking, as it doesn’t interfere with their workday or personal commitments. Allowing free time that can be used for networking can be instrumental in shaping students’ career trajectories and enhancing their professional development.

Beyond providing academic and professional benefits, a universitywide common hour would help encourage social interaction among students. It might just be the answer to creating a stronger sense of community on campus — students already have a hard enough time connecting because of how spread out NYU’s campus is, and widely differing schedules only make this problem worse.

NYU should encourage all schools to adopt a common hour for so many reasons, not the least of which being that this policy is demonstrably feasible to implement. A lunch break can have a profound impact on students’ health, academic success, professional development, social lives and overall well-being. This goes beyond having necessary time for lunch, it’s about creating a supportive environment that prioritizes student needs.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer.

Contact Polina Tyurikova at [email protected].

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