WEB EXCLUSIVE: Seniors relate graduation woes

Graduation is still months away, but many seniors said they are already experiencing complications and anxiety that come along with the ceremonial walk across the Ellipse.

“My biggest problem is that classes I need have gotten canceled,” said Mary Margaret Mcoeroy, an international affairs major. “I had to change my concentration in order to fulfill the requirements I need to graduate.”

Tamara Scott, a first-semester senior, said she will not be able to graduate on time because a class she needs was closed.

“The classes have just gotten too crowded, there were people sitting on the floor ? it was a mess,” she said about of social research methods class. “I am now going to have to stay an extra semester just for one class.”

Jim Fry, director of academic advising for the Elliot School, said if a student has a problem with requirements and classes, advisors can help make accommodations and offer other opportunities.

“We?re not going to keep anyone from graduating,” Fry said.

Some seniors said careful planning is the solution to graduation dilemmas.

“The best way to avoid these scheduling problems is to plan ahead. Don?t take the most important classes you need at the last minute,” senior Chris Berg said.

Advising Center officials suggest that seniors can prevent problems by meeting with their advisors regularly, and becoming familiar with all the requirements they must fulfill to graduate.

Some seniors said they experienced problems fulfilling requirements with classes that are not listed in the University Bulletin as part of their major. In order to make sure that these classes count for a major, the student must get a memo at the time he or she is taking the class.

“Memo is like the key word,” senior Colleen Hooper said. “If you?re taking anything not in the bulletin, that wouldn?t normally count for your major, you need a memo to say otherwise. I recommend to get a memo during class and not lose it before you graduate.”

Some seniors said they are upset with the lack of help they have received as the Feb. 1 deadline for all the forms to graduate approached and passed.

“It?s not really posted anywhere,” Mcoeroy said. “They should have a big sign in the Marvin Center to remind seniors to fill out all the forms to graduate. I haven?t gotten paperwork back to say that I can graduate, so I may have a problem.”

Fry said students fill out forms to declare a major and sometimes have to make changes. Paperwork is necessary because all changes must be documented, he said.

To avoid confusion, the Columbian College requires all undergraduates to schedule an exit interview at the beginning of their final year. At this meeting, an advisor discusses the students? requirements and class schedule to ensure that they can graduate in May.

?Katie Warchut and Kate Stepan contributed to this report.

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