An all too familiar feeling is finding that class you really want to take next semester when planning your courses, but realizing that the class is not offered. It’s even worse when it happens again. And again. And again.
This was something I, and many others, had to experience yet again when registering for spring semester courses. It wasn’t the Magis Core classes that got me, though I still found difficulty finding Social Justice courses that could align with my schedule. However, many other people still struggled to find Magis Core courses.
Sophomore Communication major Caroline Hart says, “It’s difficult to find courses available. Especially when it comes to finding a course required for Magis Core, there are not many courses offered. For instance, I need a visual arts credit, and there are so few classes being taught.”
I know many people who have struggled to find Magis Core courses that align with the required attributes, even though the university has made considerable efforts to include more social justice courses, as noted by an article published by The Mirror on the week of Nov. 8. The years with a lack of available classes with the attributes have caused a build-up, so many courses have filled up quickly.
Personally, I avoided a lot of the struggle with finding available Magis Core classes by taking summer and winter classes, but this time, it was my major courses that I struggled to find. I am an English major with a Creative Writing concentration, so it’s required of me to move to intermediate-level creative writing courses after my introductory ones. But to my surprise, only one section of Intermediate Fiction Writing is being offered. And it’s already filled. When I went to see if Intermediate Poetry was being offered since that was the other introductory-level course I took, it wasn’t offered either.
I do give the English Department credit for handling this situation. In a packet sent to English majors, they wrote that if you contact Professor Sonya Huber and notify her that all other creative writing courses are filled, she will contact the Registrar to have the Intro to Nonfiction class be considered an Intermediate course. That makes my life and many other Creative Writing major’s lives easier, so I thank the English department. The entire process would be less stressful if all majors offered something like this.
It wasn’t just Creative Writing courses lacking for the upcoming semester. Sophomore Julia Fuggetta is an English major with a concentration in Professional Writing. “For next semester, I need to take Grant and Proposal writing, but only two sections were being offered. One of them filled up after the seniors registered.” This lack of available courses puts a lot of stress on students, specifically underclassmen, who have to lose out on classes they want because it has been filled by juniors and seniors.
The next thing that I needed was a literature course at the 2000 or 3000 level, but when I went to look, there were less than 10 courses available from the low 2000 to high 3000 level. Of course, this drops even more since many are already full, and others do not meet some people’s schedule needs. For example, getting home for a break or a long weekend can take up to five hours.
My parents, rightfully so, prefer that I travel on Fridays so that I can actually enjoy my breaks. This personally limits my course options even more, and I’m sure many other people are in similar situations. This limited me to about three available courses, none of which I have a strong interest in the topic (though I’m sure they are wonderful courses). And while I don’t mind turbos myself, I know many people do not learn well in classes that long, so any turbo courses are also removed as options.
I know some people are very lucky with registration and have no issues. I had an easy time with registration for this current semester, so I understand both sides. I also know that there can be many circumstances regarding how many courses can be offered that are out of the department’s control. So it is a really tricky situation that I know cannot just be solved by adding more courses.
But this is the second year I have experienced immense stress trying to register for classes or have watched my friends panic because every class they want to take is full. I believe the registration system needs to be addressed more, not just the offered attributes. Much of the focus in the past years has been on the lack of courses offered with social justice attributes, but not much has been said about the lack of courses entirely. I believe that departments need to recognize the frustration that students are experiencing and look into ways to add more courses. I know that this can be a long process but it would be nice to know that our frustrations are being heard.
I was excited about college because I could finally take classes I wanted to take. I spent 13 years learning the same exact thing that every other kid had to learn and I was eager to take classes like Sociology and Philosophy and so many English classes. However, most of what I’ve taken has been limited to the leftovers of upperclassmen registration and the few available courses. Then they aren’t offered, and by the next year, you have to move on to a different requirement for your major. I’ve expected it every semester, but it’s disheartening every time.