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Sunday, October 1, 2023


Enrollment needs fix, prof says

The University needs to keep students on track next semester for course enrollment, a UH professor said Wednesday at the Student Government Association’s meeting.

Chemistry professor Simon Bott said he came to ask the SGA for support in tightening the University’s registration policy.

"What I’m here for is essentially to ask you all for a motion of support, a resolution of support, for a proposal that we have going through the academic faculty ranks right now," Bott said.

The problem is the second week of the fall semester becomes a "free-for-all" for students to sign up for classes by speaking to professors, Bott said. The administration needs to have student numbers and figures by the 12th day of the semester to report to the state, he said.

"Anything after that is considered a ‘no-no’ as far as the state is concerned," he said.

The University Enrollment Schedule for the Spring 2008 semester opens for appointment depending on what years the students are in, according to the UH Web site. General enrollment runs from Sunday until Jan. 12.

Bott said he was concerned with what happens to the students. He said for the last three years he has stopped allowing students to enter his class during the second week of the semester because most of them either drop the class or fail.

He also said he’s spoken to other faculty members who had the same problem and who are in favor of the proposal.

"Most of the students who are going to add a class in that second week didn’t add it in the first week, didn’t add it before school started for various reasons, but whatever those problems are, they’re not going to go away once the student is in the class," Bott said. "They’re going to persist throughout. So the fact that they’re adding that second week is probably an indication of the fact that they’re not going to make it through the whole semester."

Bott said the majority of students who get added in the second week of the semester do not pass the course.

"Once a culture is established whereby it’s known you can mess around the first week, sign up for classes the second week and so on, then that happens a lot more frequently," he said. "The big thing is we can all come up with the good students who do it for one reason or another, but we have to go for the good of the greater number here."

Bott said the proposal would go into full effect for the Fall 2009 semester.

SGA President David Rosen said he tentatively supports the proposal.

"I’m always reluctant to support something that restricts what our constituents are able to do, and this is clearly a restriction, but it makes sense from our standpoint because we’re telling the administration so often, ‘Don’t charge us more unless you’re giving us more,’" Rosen said. "We’re asking a lot more for this school this year and in the near future than we have in the past, and it makes a little bit of sense for us to reciprocate by stepping up and disciplining ourselves a little bit more."

Improving WebCT

In addition to enrollment issues, university instructional designer Greg Waldrop made a presentation about Wimba Live Classroom – a WebCT tool designed to help students participate in online study groups.

"It’s a great tool, and it’s really underutilized," Waldrop said. "The faculty hasn’t really caught up to what it does."

Implemented in Fall 2006 as an add-on product to WebCT, Waldrop said students can’t use Live Classroom until their professors open the tool. For students who can already use the tool, he said each study group can have up to 10 members with a private chat room.

"You could study online, share applications, work on a Word document together, work on Power Point presentations together and you don’t have to come to campus to do that. A lot of the time it may be easier to figure out a time to meet together virtually versus meeting in a place," Waldrop said.

Live Classroom can also handle webcams, he said. It does require students to have Java on their computers to allow applications such as a Word document sharing in the study groups.

"It’s so anyone can work on the document at the same time," Waldrop said.

Waldrop said approximately 1,300 students, 25 classes and 12,000 logins have utilized Live Classroom.

Students wishing to view the Live Classroom sign up sheet for study groups can do so at

†Vice President Sam Dike said if Live Classroom was able to make it easier to study then more should be done to make faculty aware of the application.

"It’s an interesting opportunity to look at," he said.

Seeing the sign

The SGA also passed the University Center Marquee Resolution, which aims to install a 16-foot marquee in front of the UC near the shuttle stop for student organizations to announce campus events.

"It’ll be free and open to student organization events, campus events that are open to the UH community, and it can be utilized for organizational events as well as a welcome to the campus," UC Director Keith Kowalka said.

Kowalka said the cost for the sign would be around $47,217.36. He also said the administration had set aside money for the sign so student fees would not increase.

Kowalka said the University has staff that could manage the sign and that campus dates can be reserved up to a year in advance.

"I think the big conservative nature of our campus is they want things to be nice and tidy and clean and this still will be a nice and tidy and clean approach while providing information," he said.

The meeting ended with the appointment of freshman Oana Borcoman to the hotel and restaurant management senator seat, who will replace Chase Gutierrez, who is graduating.

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