Air Force, Army ROTC say they should get priority registration

Since GW announced last month that it will offer Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps students priority registration, other ROTC groups are arguing that they deserve the privilege as well.

Students in the Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC programs are pushing for priority registration to be extended to them as well.

Junior Ryan Davis, a cadet in the Air Force ROTC, said he is taking 19 credit hours of classes this semester and has found it difficult to fulfill all of his graduation requirements. He said that because Air Force ROTC students must take Air Force classes through the D.C. college consortium at Howard University, he is forced to take GW classes only at times that do not conflict with his training.

“I think we weren’t even considered because our (Air Force) classes are not at GW,” he said. “Our counter to that is that we don’t register through Howard University. We register through GW, we pay GW tuition, and we just take the (Air Force) classes at Howard.”

Davis contacted Nicole Capp, a first-year non-voting Student Association senator, about the problem. She has drafted a resolution that urges the University to give the other ROTC groups priority registration, though she is waiting until she meets with University administrators to introduce it in the Senate.

“It is unfair right now that NROTC is given the privilege of having priority registration, because (Army) ROTC and (Air Force) ROTC are just as much a part of the GW community as the NROTC,” she said. “The (Army) ROTC and (Air Force) ROTC, in my opinion, have been left in the dust.”

Capp, Davis and other ROTC students will soon be meeting with Craig Linebaugh, GW’s associate vice president of Academic Planning, to discuss what the University can do to accommodate all students in military training, she said.

Josh Houston, an Army ROTC freshman, is taking 16 credit hours this semester and said his work load is “pretty reasonable.” But he also doesn’t understand why he is not receiving priority registration.

“I just think all of the ROTC programs should be treated equally,” he said. “And that if Navy (ROTC) is going to get priority registration we should as well.”

Linebaugh said GW granted Naval ROTC priority registration after the group successfully petitioned for the privilege by showing it had a need to register early.

“In the case of the NROTC midshipmen, they have the additional obligation of summer training which makes it nearly impossible for them to take courses in summer school that they were not able to take during the academic year,” he wrote in an e-mail.

The push for additional ROTC groups to receive priority registration comes at a time when GW is trying to reduce the number of students who are offered the privilege. For spring semester registration the 60 students involved in Naval ROTC were added to the list for priority registration, but other groups, such as honors students, are being phased out.

“Priority registration is granted only to students who have time commitments related to programmatic or University obligations that result in class scheduling difficulties of such magnitude that those difficulties could impede the students’ progress toward graduation,” Linebaugh said.

Linebaugh added that Capp and her group would have to provide adequate evidence of time conflicts in order for other ROTC students to receive priority registration, and that he and Donald Lehman, GW’s executive vice president for Academic Affairs, would ultimately make the decision.

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