The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 28th

Register more effectively: Right move to change criteria for registration times

Assigning registration dates based on semesters as opposed to credit hours is a more equitable method that will likely help seniors struggling to fulfill requirements.

Adequate accommodations have also been made for transfer students. The number of transferred semesters will be determined based on the number of credit hours transferred.

Previously, registration priority was based on credit hours completed. But the reality is that method simply was not accomplishing its intended purpose — to let those students register first who need to register most.

This year has seen many seniors struggling to fill all the requirements to graduate. Under the current scheme, students with only a semester left before they are scheduled to graduate are competing with students who might be juniors but have enough credit hours to be classified as seniors. As students enter college with more and more credit hours under their belts, this problem will only worsen.

It is certainly not fair that students who have multiple semesters left in college can take spots in courses that are already too few in number for graduating seniors. This is especially true in the fine arts courses above the 199 level that most students are required to take in order to graduate.

The result of the current system has been what Bobbi Owen, senior associate dean for undergraduate education, appropriately called a “bottleneck” — too many students are rushing for too few sections.

Larger problems still loom. There are still not enough spaces in courses that students are required to take. These issues need addressing through increased offerings or increased options for filling requirements.

Still, the new priority system solves a separate issue of equity in the registration process. Students who have been here the longest deserve to register the soonest. And as the University takes steps to make the general education curriculum less burdensome, the new registration arrangement will also provide some welcome relief.

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