The entire point of this post is in the title. This idea crossed my path yesterday, and I’d like to share it as widely as possible:
Even if we explain that office hours are for students, the students who might benefit the most from having a conversation with us in our offices are the ones who are least likely to show up. It’s a small thing, but calling them “student hours” seems to me like it can help break down the barrier. After all, words matter.
Even if your university only has a small fraction of first-gen students, those are the ones who might be avoiding office hours because they aren’t accustomed to the idea that they’re entitled to your time in that fashion. So changing the name can be just a slight nudge to fix an equity gap.