From the Editor: Conflict of classes: Can you graduate?

Upon entering college, some of us had everything planned out, from what we wanted to major in, to the number of minors we’d like to take. Unfortunately, things don’t always go the way we plan.
Every year, it seems as if it gets harder to register for the classes we need. This is partly because juniors and seniors need more specialized courses.
But because it’s also to balance a budget shortfall, Rider has been trying to save money by cutting classes for the past several semesters.
This year, we won’t know for sure how many classes will be cut for the entire year until after registration, but there will be fewer courses available this spring in comparison to last spring, according to Dr. Halpern, a sociology professor and the contract administrator of Rider’s chapter of AAUP.
The lack of certain classes has caused some students to fall behind in their schedules. Others have found themselves having to drop their minors because they cannot complete the requirements when a class isn’t offered or is canceled because not enough students are enrolled. Unfortunately, minors don’t get priority in planning professors’ workload.
Danielle DeLisi, a junior elementary education major, discovered that she had to drop her minor in middle school education because of a class conflicting with one of her elementary education classes. DeLisi thinks that trying to offer certain classes at different times might help out with the overlapping problem.
It’s not fair to take classes for a minor only to find out later that you are unable to complete it because of a conflict or because the class is not offered. Minors are just as important as majors. They show how well-rounded a student is that he or she takes the time to complete not only a major, but a minor as well. Therefore, they should be treated with the same importance.
Halpern thinks that when students aren’t able to finish their major or minor requirements because of class cuts, the situation will “leave graduates with a bad taste in their mouths” and lead to dissatisfied alumni.
Unfortunately, the administration really isn’t doing anything to accommodate students who are being affected by the cut classes. Instead, we have to try to work our schedules around the classes that are available. Some departments offer supervised studies for major classes to make up for the ones that students cannot take. This does help a little bit, but not as much as we’d like, and minors can’t get supervised studies.
Junior secondary education major Beth Jacobs believes that cutting classes and limiting the number that actually are available isn’t fair. She explained that upon trying to register for a class for her major and one she needs in order to graduate, she found that she couldn’t since it was for students of the College of Continuing Studies only and there were no other sections of the class available.
Halpern said that he is finding that there are growing complaints about courses being cut and classes that are conflicting. If there are students complaining now, it’s only going to get worse as course registration goes on.
To keep this from happening again, Rider should consider starting up a committee of students in each department to sit down and talk to the professors to review and analyze proposed workloads for the following year. They could give their input on the number of sections of each class, when they’re available and whether or not they cause conflicts.
Rider should also look into making cuts elsewhere. This could potentially limit the number of classes that are cut each semester and bring that total down. Taking classes and making sure we graduate on time with all of our requirements is our priority at school, and it should be the administration’s priority too.

The weekly editorial expresses the
majority opinion of The Rider News.
This week’s editorial was written by the Opinion Editor, Danielle Gittleman.

Printed in the 10/16/13 edition.

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