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Saturday June 25th

Students navigate a later-than-normal class registration period

<p>Photo Illustration: A UNC student puzzles over ConnectCarolina as plans for the 2021 spring semester remain uncertain for many students.</p>
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Photo Illustration: A UNC student puzzles over ConnectCarolina as plans for the 2021 spring semester remain uncertain for many students.

Update: This story has been updated with additional comment from the University Registrar. 

Class registration for the 2021 spring semester is set to begin on Nov. 30 — after the start of winter break and later than in a typical semester. 

The delayed start to registration is presenting challenges and mixed feelings for students who are used to registering before the fall semester ends. 

University Registrar Lauren DiGrazia said in a statement that spring course schedules could not be created until the University had made decisions surrounding modes of instruction and time between classes. DiGrazia also said that the University did not want registration to occur during the end of the semester and final exams. 

"All these factors combined resulted in the registration window being pushed back. We know this can present challenges for some students and that is why we are fully committed to helping students through the registration process and encourage anyone with concerns to reach out to their academic advisor for individualized support," DiGrazia said in a statement. 

Mia Lerner, a sophomore public relations and English major, said she was supposed to have surgery over the break. But she said she had to reschedule her surgery after UNC released registration dates because both were on the same day.

“In addition to preparing for this surgery, I’m going to have to make a whole list of the classes I want to take and all the backups, and be stressed about my health, and also about if I’m going to get the classes I want to take for spring semester,” she said. 

Lerner said she was concerned she would have had to let someone else complete registration for her, even though the registration process is very personal for a student.

Emma Rudy Srebnik, a first-year environmental science major, is currently living in Japan with her family and is fourteen hours ahead of Chapel Hill. She said will be registering for classes at 4:45 a.m. 

“I think time zones are just challenging across the board for international students,” she said.

Lora Wical, deputy director and senior assistant dean in Academic Advising, said early morning drop-in hours were added for international students and those in different time zones to help with course planning, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

On the other hand, sophomore and biomedical engineering major Aaron Lee said he is glad he will not have to worry about finishing off the semester in addition to trying to register for classes. 

“Having to worry about what class I’m going to take, how I’m going to progress through my major while also worrying about, say, a test you have next week — it’s just a lot,” Lee said. 

Liesbet Hooghe, a professor of political science at UNC, said she feels for students who may struggle with the registration process and getting the classes they may need.

“I do care about the process being transparent and fair,” she said.

Daniel Ringel, assistant professor of marketing at UNC, said students should reach out to academic advising, other students who took the course and department websites to find information about classes they plan to take.

“Let’s create the win-win kind of situation where students ask crucial, important questions that they cannot find answers to elsewhere, and instructors give those answers to create a better learning experience, and a better campus and UNC community experience for everyone,” he said.

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