Six W’s could spell ‘woe’
UH students may want to think twice before they drop a class in exchange for a W this semester.
During the 2007 fall semester the University implemented a new system to limit the number of withdrawals for undergraduate students.
In accordance with Texas Senate Bill 1231, undergraduate students are allowed six W’s during their entire undergraduate career. This spring the deadline to drop a course and receive a W grade is 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Student Government Association Senate Regent Liaison Judah Johns said he’s been opposed to the six W policy since it was implemented in the fall.
"To be honest, it’s inconsiderate," Johns said. "It doesn’t take into account if there is an emergency."
Johns said the six W policy is a problem for students enlisted in the military as well. If a student is called to ship out there isn’t enough time for the student to get an incomplete for any classes, he said.
"(The rule) is not very well thought out, but it is with good intent," Johns said.
Johns said he’s spoken with the administration and with Texas representatives and made it clear that many people believe the policy to be inconsiderate of students’ circumstances.
"It’s something we need to keep pushing," Johns said.
The six W’s can be used at anytime in a student’s undergraduate career, the Provost’s Web site says, and receiving a W will not lower a student’s grade-point average.
Engineering sophomore Miriam Saucedo said the six W policy is unfair.
"I think it’s inconsiderate because not all of us are full-time students and sometimes jobs can get in the way of school work," she said.
Texas Senate Bill 1232 does state that students with special circumstances are able to drop more than six courses with a W, providing that the student has a "severe illness," death of a family member with a "sufficiently close relationship to the student" or is called to "active duty service as a member of the Texas National Guard or the armed forces of the United States," to name a few. In these cases, withdrawals do not count toward a student’s six W limit.
Undergraduate students in need of dropping a course should fill out a drop form found in the Registration and Academic Records Office, located in the Welcome Center. Graduate and professional students are not affected by the policy and have no limits on withdrawals, but have the same deadline as undergraduates to initiate a drop.
The form will also need to be signed by the course instructor. If an undergraduate student uses six W’s, he or she must complete all enrolled courses "regardless of academic performance in the class," according to the provost’s Web site.
For faculty to drop students with a W, they must obtain forms available either through the departmental office or Enrollment Services. Faculty members should not print out and mark a student drop from a class roster, according to an e-mail sent to faculty on Wednesday. The form should be filled out and returned to Room 102, Ezekiel W. Cullen Building by 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Donald Foss did not comment despite various attempts to contact him made by The Daily Cougar.
In July 2007, Foss told The Daily Cougar the policy would prevent students from taking on too many classes a semester, which prevents others from taking required courses.
For more information, visit www.uh.edu/provost/stu.