Abby Epstein – News Editor
Sofia Rositani – Arts & Entertainment Editor
Desteny Maragh – Reporter
Residential students will have priority over commuter students for spring registration, but all seniors and athletes will still have top priority to register for classes.
“Resident students have priority only for on-ground and hybrid courses,” said Julie Edstrom Vice President of Enrollment.
According to Edstrom, the reason behind the change was because students were choosing to live on campus and spend money on room and board, only to have many teachers switch their classes from on-ground to online.
“Those students found themselves in a financial contract so looking ahead to spring registration, we wanted to be sure that those students had some priority,” said Edstrom.
According to Director of Residence Life Robert Demezzo, the number of students who live on campus by year included; 13 graduate students, 110 seniors with 90 or more credits, 241 juniors with 60 to 89.5 credits, 387 sophomores with 30 to 59.5 credits, and 698 freshmen with 0 to 29.5 credits. These students will be getting priority over commuters on registration day.
“We are at about 60 percent capacity for residential students, as I understand it, compared to prior years and approximately 1,450 students are living on campus,” said Registrar Alicia Carroll. “So, right out of the gate we are not talking about registration priority for the usual number of residential students as we are accustomed to having on campus.”
Carroll said while there are 1,450 students living on campus, the registrar’s office took into consideration those who have priority regardless of residency. This includes athletes and those who receive support from the Disability Resource Center.
According to Carroll, roughly 125 juniors, 220 sophomores, and 385 freshmen are getting a two-hour slot to register for on-ground and hybrid classes before commuters.
“When we knew we had to break out in time slots we looked at existing models that worked over at Central, and I know Eastern has a similar system as well,” said Carroll.
When the Registrar’s Office chose how to do registration this year, they made a pros and cons list. The pros were that a senior will get priority by how many credits they have and that the Banner Web will not crash again as much as it usually does during registration. The cons were that some of the students will not get their first choice. Usually it is freshmen who struggle due to taking their LEP requirements before their major requirements, so those seats fill up faster than in their major.
“Well, we are 25 million dollars in debt,” said President Joe Bertolino. “We were looking for ways to incentivize our resident students. I don’t think Julie and I anticipated the response that was received. There’s lessons we’re learning and there were mistakes made.”
A committee meeting was held with many of the stakeholders, who were asked to meet on short notice.
Priority registration for residential students was not a recommendation made according to Deborah Weiss, professor of communication disorders. The decision about priority registration was made outside of the committee.
“Immediately I heard from the SGA and they were surprised about it and concerned about it,” said Weiss.
At the senate, Weiss said Adian Coleman, who is the SGA representative to the senate, spoke passionately about stating the SGA thought the decision was unfair to commuter students and the SGA was quite upset. Also, many of the faculty that spoke up in support of SGA.
“We [SGA] saw it as a social justice issue,” said Sarah Gossman, SGA president. “If you have the funds to live on campus, you’re getting a leg up in the registration process and you’re getting dibs on those classes that someone else will need.
Commuter students have different takes on the changes of registration.
“In a sense I guess because they are paying a little more for dorming during these insane times, but it was their choice to dorm,” said education major Madeline Gill, a junior. “I’m kinda on the fence about it.”
Art major Karen Daye, a senior, does not believe residential students should have priority.
“For them to get classes before us that is not totally fair,” said Daye. “You want the classes you want to get especially if it’s your majorand if you don’t get it then you are screwed to even graduate.”
Spring registration is going to look different than it has in the past years. Edstrom said they tried to adjust the registration process off the recommendations they received from students and faculty.
“I can use your help in two ways, the solution to registration is more on-ground classes and more classes that students need,” said Bertolino. “We need to be sure we’re putting our resources in the right place.”