Staff Editorial

Over the reading period, some students received quite an unexpected e-mail from the Registrar about their schedules for next year. These students received the notification because they had “registered for multiple sections of a non-repeatable course.are overloading (24 or more units) without the permission of their academic advisor, or.are doing both.”
The email elaborated that the consequence of this action is that “other students with legitimate interest and need for these classes are being denied seats.” This explanatory part of the email concluded with this very strongly-put sentence: “This is unacceptable behavior and flies in the face of the spirit of the Lawrence University Honor Code and the general rules of conduct governing the Lawrence community.”
While the facts of the email about the procedure were true, they were never enforced or widely known and many students were largely unaware of their existence. This, coupled with the unnecessarily stringent tone of the email, caused overwhelming negative responses among students.
A harsh disciplinary letter would not have been necessary if advisors and students were properly notified in advance about the current rules.
This practice, while in many ways can be seen as opportunistic or even selfish manipulation, has become so widespread that we at The Lawrentian view it to be an almost necessary part of the registration process. Since many students follow this common-sense approach to registration, it hardly seems as though it should be viewed as “unacceptable behavior.”
The only people who do not break this rule set by the registrar are the lucky few who know exactly what classes they are taking next year and were accepted into all of them. Those who do not know exactly what they want to take are likely to register for multiple classes as a way to give themselves options come next fall, winter or spring.
This flexibility is necessary for a lot of students who may be uncertain as to what their major will be, or who are waiting to learn/know new information during the interim which will affect their class choice — this information could range anywhere from finding out if a new professor is good or not to working around a new off-campus job schedule.
The practice of registering for many classes in advance and then showing up to classes on the first day of the term to get off the wait list is a fair system for a few reasons. The current system, practiced by most, gives students more time to figure out which classes they want to take, only making them decide right when the classes begin. It also does not force students to practically finalize their schedule during the spring term of the previous year, allowing them little room to change their minds, as does the prescribed procedure does. Lastly, it allows students to come up with a workable back-up plan in case one of their preferred classes falls through. Without being able to register for multiple classes ahead of time, students will not be able to find out what the best chances are for getting into an alternative class, in case their other classes don’t work out.
The current system that students use is a practical and efficient one. Granted, it made for some hectic first few days of the term with lots of frantic running, but it gives students a greater flexibility and more reassurance coming into the term. Since scheduling is such a frustrating issue, flexibility and comfort are two important values that should not have to be sacrificed.