CLASS cuts enrollment deadline in half

A policy implemented by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences to ensure the state receives accurate enrollment figures is raising concerns for students attempting to add courses.

While the University gathers student enrollment numbers by the 12th class day, a new policy implemented this spring will gather CLASS student enrollment by the sixth class day and submit it to the state earlier. The deadline for CLASS students to add or drop courses was the sixth day of the semester, or Tuesday.

Associate CLASS Dean Sarah Fishman said that the policy was implemented after the state showed more interest in accurate and timely University enrollment.

"We answer to the state. However humanistic we want to be, there is a point were we have to give them an accurate count," Fishman said about student complaints.

During the second week of the semester, students were dropped from one or more of their classes for not paying tuition on time and have had to file petitions for reinstatement in their courses at the CLASS office. Students dropped from their classes were sent an e-mail to warn them of being dropped last Sunday.

Students re-enrolled in their dropped classes are to pay the same day they do so before 5 p.m. or be dropped again. The policy has raised complaints by students, who have said the University should extend payment deadlines because of the software switch to PeopleSoft 8.9 last fall.

Advertising senior Kerry Paine said she was dropped from her classes on Jan. 20 because she was unable to pay on time because PeopleSoft didn’t allow her to agree to the terms of agreement for a payment.

"The University needs to be more lenient until they get the glitches in the system fixed," Paine said. "I was unable to make my payment because of PeopleSoft and I’ve been sent from an advisor to the financial aid department and then (the CLASS office.)"

As part of the policy, students can add or drop a class in case of a system error or extenuating circumstances, such as medical reasons.

Other students said that they have had difficulty making the payment on deadline after being reinstated in their courses.

"I was re-enrolled to a business class and language class with no problem but this office just won’t budge," University Studies sophomore Jessica Williams said. "I was unable to get a hold of my father who is in Africa right now to make the payment."

Williams said that after waiting to submit a petition, she was still unsure if she would be reinstated.

Fishman said that despite the problems students have experienced, CLASS is working to notify students, faculty and staff so that conflicting information is not sent from other University departments. She also said that administrators would help students who were dropped as a result of an error.

"After the sixth day, we want to focus on helping those students who were dropped as a result of University error," Fishman said.

In other colleges, the deadline for students to add any classes is today and must be completed through an academic advisor. Payment is due by 7 p.m. at the Welcome Center, on the corner of Calhoun Road and University Drive, 5 p.m. at the cashier location in the Ezekiel W. Cullen Building or 11:59 p.m. through PeopleSoft.

Additional reporting by Johnny Rigg.

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