By Deanna Amarosa
A week before my course enrollment time slot, I logged into PAWS to check on class selections for the fall semester and my heart immediately dropped — a core class for my public health major had no seats left in both sections. I began to make a plan B, contemplating other classes I could take, such as a liberal learning or a biology lab for my minor. After talking to others about this, I realized that course registration isn’t as easy as it should be for students at the College.
At this time of year, it is evident on social media that students are struggling with course registration. The College’s student-run snapchat, @tcnj-snap, shares frequent posts from students begging for someone to drop a specific class, some even offering to pay money for a coveted spot. If it costs roughly $30,000 each year to attend this institution, students should be able to get what they pay for — that is, they should at least be able to get into the classes required for their major each semester.
Biology and education are among the College’s most popular majors, according to U.S. News. While biology majors are required to take ecology in their second year of study, many students were unable to register. These students are also required to take two consecutive semesters of organic chemistry. Getting into each class is challenging, as seats fill up quickly and seats are reserved for chemistry majors, despite the fact that the classes are required for students on other tracks.
One freshman biology major, Maxx Cadmus, was unable to get into his required core biology class for the upcoming semester.
“Instead, I have to take a higher level options course that is not in the right sequence of classes,” he said.
This situation is discouraging to students, and makes them feel unvalued at the College. For a student like myself, who is interested in pursuing a minor that involves taking science labs, the fact that biology majors are unable to get into these required classes for their own major is very troubling. If biology majors can’t get into their required labs, how could I ever get into the same course that is technically an optional part of my studies?
Cadmus also mentioned that big classes like chemistry and biology frequently hold empty seats to maintain the small class sizes that the College advertises. This is unacceptable, and the College needs to make changes to better accommodate the student body.
If students are unable to get into the classes they are required to take, this can be seen as a driving force to transfer elsewhere if the College doesn’t make changes to properly accommodate all the students that attend classes here.
Students share opinions around campus