Add/drop has passed, students express concerns


Matthew Breault

“Add or Drop Classes” is available under Registration on Bannerweb for UC students.

Isabella Hudziak, News Editor

The fall semester deadline to add or drop a class was on Friday, Sept. 3. In recent years, there has been some student concern over the quick add/drop date and whether it could be changed.

The period for add/drop is the same each semester and some students feel that a week is not long enough to decide on classes.

The first Friday of the semester is too fast to gauge how a class will actually be and the process to change it is more difficult than a week allows, math education major Jessilyn Pereira said.

“Even if I don’t want [a certain] class, I need to talk with my advisor about what I do need,” Pereira said. “I have to consider: can I find something in the time period I’m dropping, will it rearrange my whole schedule, which takes time to figure out.”

Some faculty members have also expressed concerns about the effectiveness of using the first week of classes, otherwise known as “Syllabus Week,” to preview a full semester of a class.

While some professors give previews of their lecture styles and content, others do not during the first week, Faculty Theatre Director Laura Salvaggio said.

“I believe the add period is very appropriate for professors to get students caught up,” said Salvaggio, who teaches several different theatre and fine arts classes at varying levels. “I am totally open to the idea of changing the drop period because sometimes students need a longer time to experience the class before making a decision.”

Even though the window for add/drop is not ideal for students, the college must follow strict federal guidelines for calculating financial aid that are dependent on a complete and correct college census.

The college establishes a freeze date 15 days into the semester to gather accurate attendance for financial aid and reimbursement purposes from the federal government, Senior Associate Provost and Dean for Graduate Studies Robert Halliday said.

“At the freeze date we analyze who’s here, who’s not here, how full classes are, and other data-driven things,” Halliday said. “We could not change the add/drop date by very much to meet this deadline.”

The assumption behind having add/drop at the end of the week is that students will be able to experience all classes at least once before making a decision, Halliday said.

“The thing about the add-drop period is that it gives you a chance to try stuff out,” Halliday said. “You can actually register for more classes than you intend to do for the semester; you can drop one without penalty.”

The college offers other options for students who missed the add/drop deadline but still want to pull out of a certain class with other variables to consider.

Withdrawing from a class by the allotted time frame removes academic penalty, but transcripts will keep the class and a symbol representing the withdrawal. The withdrawal date is on Nov. 8, according to the Registrar’s Fall On Ground Term 2021 calendar.

Some students believe that withdrawing from a class will still lead to challenges in the future since it remains on your transcript.

“I think dropping [a class] should be as long as you want,” political science major Jordan Conestabile said. “When you’re going to write a resume, you don’t want the bad classes to be put on it or work against you.”

Another alternative for students withdrawing from a class is taking a withdrawal-fail. The deadline for this is Dec. 16, and will result in an F final grade towards student GPA.

The process of students adding, dropping or withdrawing from classes is difficult for the institution, Halliday said. There is a secondary freeze date to catch students in online or half-term classes.

“It’s not the same as the big freeze date at the beginning of the semester,” Halliday said. “Often students don’t register for D2 classes until the seventh week of the term, when they realize [they] need another one or have the extra time. We needed another point to get a census count.”