Priority registration under fire

Student athletes are busy people. They must work their schedule of practices, workouts and games around their class schedules. To make this process easier, the University offers athletes priority registration – a chance to reserve their classes before the rest of students fight for limited spots in classes.

Eleven other student groups on campus receive this privilege, including students in the Honors Program, campus tour guides, band members, the editorial staff of The Hatchet and presidential arts scholars. They all registered Oct. 26 and 27 before Wednesday’s general registration. Some students said they think too many people get this privilege.

I think the number of students that get priority registration is a pretty big number, sophomore Yvette Thomas said. I understand why athletes get it because of their very inflexible schedules, but I’m not really sure that people who don’t have the problem of inflexibility should get it. It seems like five percent (of students given priority registration) would make more sense.

A total of 1,402 undergraduate students, 17 percent of the undergraduate population, register before the general registration period.

Priority implies that there’s something special or different about your case, sophomore Amit Patel said. If so many people are getting priority registration, doesn’t it almost defeat the whole purpose in the end?

Some students who registered early said the complaints are valid.

I get priority registration because I’m an honors student and because I’m a STAR tour guide, sophomore Caitlin McAlpine said. I can see why honors students get it, but I don’t think as a STAR that it is necessary for me to get priority registration. I think the University does get a little overzealous sometimes and if I were a student not getting it, I think I’d definitely be resentful of it.

Academic Planning and Special Projects, the office that decides which students register early, offered members of about 20 student groups priority registration last year. More than 16 percent of the student population received the privilege in 1999, one percent less than this year. Craig Linebaugh, associate vice president for Academic Planning, was unavailable to comment.

Kyle Slavin, a member of GW’s swim team, said giving priority registration to athletes makes the school look better in the long run.

I understand why athletes get priority registration because it greatly aids in helping us to arrange our schedules so classes and practice don’t conflict, Slavin said. This makes for a better team which makes for GW’s gaining more recognition and praise.

Sophomore Katrina Cason said she disagrees because athletes are no different they any other student at GW.

There have been many times that I’ve gotten kicked out of classes because they were all full, Cason said. It just doesn’t seem fair.

Some students said everyone should have the same registration rights because students pay the same amount of money to attend GW.

I don’t really know who should and shouldn’t get priority registration, but it seems that everyone here pays the same amount of money and should be given equal opportunities and access to everything GW offers, especially classes, junior Becky Salmela said. With 17 percent of students registering early, I don’t know that this necessarily happens.

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