GW examines early registration

GW administrators are reviewing the University’s priority registration policy because a large portion of undergraduate students who are involved in University-related activities are filling up classes, GW officials said.

Administrators decided to examine the early registration policy because a large percentage of the student population is eligible to register for class at least a week before regular registration begins, said Craig Linebaugh, associate vice president for Academic Planning and Special Projects.

As of fall ’99 semester, 1,136 undergraduate students, over 16 percent of the undergraduate student body, have priority registration privileges, Linebaugh wrote in a memo to student organizations with priority registration privileges this month.

Linebaugh said the high percentage of undergraduate students with priority registration might negatively affect GW’s retention rates, because students without priority registration privileges may feel they are unable to get into their desired classes. About 20 student groups are eligible for priority registration.

Some of the students who register early are athletes, pep band members, and members of the honors program. Some staff members of The GW Hatchet staff receive priority registration as well.

(Students) may become disenchanted and decide to leave the University, Linebaugh said.

He said the inquiry into priority registration came after the administration received three new requests from student organizations to register early.

The policy was also examined after students without priority registration complained that those with the privilege are taking up spaces in classes.

There are a noticeable number of classes this semester in which a large number of slots were filled by priority registration, Linebaugh said.

Kim Cremer, a freshman in the School of Business and Public Management, said she was unable to register for many of the classes she planned to take because many of them were closed before she registered.

It’s frustrating to me that a lot of people pre-registered, because by the time I registered, five out of seven things I needed for the business school’s core requirements were closed, Cremer said.

But students with priority registration privileges said early registration is a necessity.

Priority registration is beneficial to me because it allows me to organize my classes around the obligations I have for cheerleading, GW cheerleader Leah Brndjar said.

Linebaugh said the Council of Associate Deans is gathering information from student groups with priority registration. According to the memo, contact persons from student groups with priority registration need to report the average number of days and hours a week their members participate in the University-sponsored activity.

He said the council is only gathering information from student groups, and no decisions to terminate any student group’s priority registration privileges had been made. Linebaugh said any student group the University feels does not need priority registration from the information gathered will be given the opportunity to state their case to the council.

We are at the information-gathering point at this time, he said.

If the Council decides some student groups do not need priority registration, Linebaugh said the Council would probably apply the new policy to the group’s new members and let current members keep their priority registration privileges.

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