News

Debating drop dates

During the hectic transition into a new semester, students only have a short period of time to make important decisions about which classes to keep, drop or add.

The drop and add dates for courses were set by the faculty senate 20 years ago. The legislation states that a class must be dropped by the 12th class day so as not to receive a withdrawal.

“I don’t think the dates are unreasonable,” freshman Brandon Rosenberg said. “I’m sure if there was a major flaw in the dates, the administration would change them. It’s difficult to please everyone.”

The last day to add a course this semester is Jan. 26 and the last day to drop a course is Feb. 2. The last day to drop a class is also the last day to receive a refund for the cost of the class. This date is set by the Office of Student Account Services each semester.

The deadlines allow students to test drive a course before students on the wait list are allowed to register for a seat.

“I haven’t had an issue with the deadlines,” freshman Caroline Helmers said. “Some of my friends have had problems though. I think the deadline to drop a class without a W is too early.”
However, some professors, as well as many students, think the deadline is reasonable.

“I have no issues with the deadlines since I teach larger classes,” said Dr. Malancha Sarkar, a professor in UM’s department of biology. “The deadline is just two weeks though, so professors have not put in much effort for the students yet, like reading papers and grading exams.”

The dates UM has set for dropping and adding classes are generally consistent with other schools: The first seven class days are set aside to add courses and the first 12 class days to drop. Students at Duke University are allowed to add and drop courses without a withdrawal until the 10th class day of the semester.

On the other hand, the University of Florida has a much shorter time frame. UF’s period for dropping without a withdrawal and adding courses is within the first five class days.
Despite having an average time frame, some students still feel the crunch.

“I remember that on the last day to drop, my friend went on myUM to drop a class and it didn’t let her for some reason,” senior Kristina Torres said. “I was dropping the same class and it let me. She ended up having to take it up with the dean of students.”

Although students and professors might have issues with the deadlines, finding dates that would accommodate all students and stay consistent with other schools may be difficult.

Nicky Diaz may be contacted at ndiaz@themiamihurricane.com.

January 19, 2011

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