Students reject Saturday classes

By Olivia Garber

The Cathedral was deserted. A sidewalk normally teeming with students lay bare naked to the… The Cathedral was deserted. A sidewalk normally teeming with students lay bare naked to the bright sun of a Saturday morning. The quiet was palpable, disrupted only by a jogger sucking in air, a woman chatting on a cell phone in the distance. Uninterested in those people, I peeled my eyes for my prey.


An unassuming man with unassuming clothing — largely unnoticeable except for one conspicuous object: a book bag.

I hastened after him, pushing my bicycle at my side. The whirring of its tires combined with my flats clacking against the pavement produced a sound that announced my presence to everyone within hearing distance.

The man with the book bag turned around, his face contorted with surprise at the sight of a girl chasing him.

I was 10 feet past the bike racks, too late to pretend that I was hurrying to lock up my bike, but I went for it anyway, accepting defeat.

I was on the prowl for a “Saturday Student,” and I had let the first one get away.

After scaring away the man at the Cathedral, I left, searching for more promising sites. Stopping anyone with a book bag, I asked the same question repeatedly.

“Are you going to class?”

I was met with a chorus of “noss,” “there’s class today?” and the most popular, “hahahaha.”

It seemed as if the Saturday Student were a yet another figment of Pitt’s imagination, joining the ranks of the Druids.

Unable to accept defeat, I marched optimistically to Benedum Hall. If anyone was going to class today, I assumed it would be an engineer.


A tall male, perhaps 20, slumbered up the steps to Benedum. His posture seemed to sag with the thought of going to class.

Had I seen one? Is this a Saturday Student?

I chased after him shouting, “Excuse me!” to seem less creepy. “Are you going to class today?” I asked.

The mystery student wiped away crust and sleep from his eyes, squinting from the sun.

“Yeah,” he drawled.

I had done it! I had found the Saturday Student.

Alas, the student wished to remain in anonymity. Although I still lacked a subject to profile, finding evidence of the existence of a Saturday Student was more than enough to spur me on my journey.

As I headed down Thackeray, determined to give the Cathedral another go, I saw two blond females walking down the street. There was boost in their gait, an air of relaxation in the posture. Their attitude was reminiscent of students on a Friday afternoon. It seemed as if they had just gotten out of class.

Quickly, I rushed after them. Breathless, I asked them if they had attended Saturday class.

Yes! Yes! They had just left Chinese Level 1 recitation.

“Check out Thaw 107,” they told me. “That’s where Chinese recitations will be.”

I was on the trail of a story. I could almost smell the Saturday Student.

Room 207 in Thaw was dark and empty. A large shade blocked the only window; a sliver of light that shone through danced along the empty plastic chairs.

I thought I had missed my chance. Had the Saturday Students all gone home, blending into the large mix of Weekenders?

I gave the room another glance, hoping to find evidence that a Saturday Student had once dwelled there. An empty Starbucks cup sat directly in the middle of the table, a pool of liquid at the bottom was cool to the touch. Against the ledge of the chalkboard was an empty AMP Energy can. This was all that remained to prove the existence of the Saturday Student.

Ten minutes before noon, a student slowly walked in, texting with headphones in his ear.

This was my first encounter with the Saturday Student in its natural environment, and the mythical creature was not what I was expected.

Aron Stone, a sophomore linguistics major, was alarmingly complacent about the whole situation. Although he chose to attend class rather than suffer the dubious situation of scheduling a make-up appointment with the teacher, his attitude was more understanding than I had anticipated.

As more students trickled in, joking about this and that, the resounding reaction to attending class was “meh.”


Where is the bitterness? The disgruntlement?

According to an online poll conducted by The Pitt News, 87 percent of students would not be attending class.

“Whatever Pitt, I’m not going to class on weekends” has 928 fans on Facebook. “I will not be attending make-up classes on Saturdays … Good try” has 1557 members.

These students took a stand (granted, it was over the Internet) and showed their displeasure over Saturday class.

I expected the Saturday Student to do the same.

However, the real Saturday Student was more indifferent than outraged, more understanding than displeased.

Perhaps April 17 will be a different story.