Classic Signals: Freshmen take first pick at class schedules

Every week, Features Editor Ashton Leber hits the archives and finds old Signals that relate to current College topics and top stories.

As students approach the halfway point of the fall 2017 semester, they are reminded by countless emails from Records and Registration to meet with advisers and prepare their spring 2018 schedule. It’s mandatory for all students to make an advising appointment and register for classes at a specific date and time, or else they’re subjected a late registration fee. Often times, students struggle to get into the classes they want because they get beat out by upperclassmen. But it wasn’t always that way. In 1998, Student Government announced that freshmen would be able to register for courses before seniors, juniors and sophomores.

Upperclassmen are upset with registration policies.

Freshmen will be able to register first this semester, members announced at last week’s Student Government Association (SGA) meeting.

According to Miss Winchester, vice president of Student Affairs, freshmen will register first, then seniors, juniors and lastly sophomores.

“There is an alarming number of students who don’t graduate in four years, and that might be because of the nature of the degree program,” Dr. Hank Fradella, assistant professor of law and justice and SGA advisor, said.

“But when freshmen register, they are closed out of courses that prerequisites for higher level courses that they need to take,” he said. “Seniors are looking for ‘easy’ level courses and filling up seats the freshmen need. This is going to be an experiment for one semester. There was no endorsement from CAAR (Committee on Admissions, Advertisement and Retention) and it was not voted on by faculty.”

Don Worthington, registrar, said in a private interview that freshmen are at a disadvantage when registering for a second semester.

Winchester suggested from committee putting a hold on classes to fill them up 75 percent when the freshmen register and then other students can fill up the rest of the class space.

Kelly Gugliemi, senator of Arts and Sciences, said that freshmen will be registering in their seminar classes so they will be closely monitored.

John Fazio, senator-at-large, said that they should staff the classes better so there is enough space to accommodate all students.

Winchester reminded him that it was a “one-shot deal.”

Winchester also told SGA that students can register on the Internet and that she would work with CAAR to make recommendations such as putting hold flags to ensure all students see their advisors before they register and have an advising week, the week before registration.

However, Mary T. Varga, executive vice president, said, “As an upperclassman, I know what I need to take and I don’t want to have to go to my advisor.”

Members questioned whether the computer system would be able to accommodate all the students registering at the same time.

“They have practiced overloading the system and they said it won’t crash,” Winchester said.

Winchester said it was reccomended from CAAR to make the overall major Grade Point Average (GPA) 2.0 instead of 2.5.

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