UVM denies overall priority registration

Athletes who enjoy the benefits of overall priority registration may be unhappy when registering for courses next semester. Provost Jane Knodell issued a letter to the Student Government Association on Dec. 17, taking away overall priority registration for athletics, Advocats, ACCESS and Honors College students. Fifty percent of these students will receive priority registration and the other half will have in-class priority, Knodell’s letter stated. “I believe this approach increases the equity associated with course registration while still recognizing the needs of particular student populations,” Knodell’s letter stated. In-class priority registration means that students will register with the class ahead of them, according SGA President Kofi Mensah’s weekly e-mail. Overall priority registration has been a concern of students for years, Mensah said. That is why the SGA passed a resolution on Sept. 28 calling for in-class registration as the primary form of registration for athletics, Advocats, ACCESS and Honors College students, according to Mensah’s e-mail. Dan Cheney, chairman of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, said that the athletic department has not made any decisions as to who will get full priority. However, some athletes said they feel priority registration is necessary. “We have practice and games that we have to schedule our classes around,” sophomore women’s soccer midfielder Lily Feldman said. “We have a four to five hour block in our day that we can’t have classes.” Sophomore men’s lacrosse attack Josh Aronson said he agreed, “This will make it more difficult for our coaches to schedule practices,” Aronson said. Knodell’s memo stated that students in the Honors College or student-athletes who have scheduling problems that cannot be resolved may be subject to special circumstances. Their situation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the associate Provost for Curricular Affairs, according to her letter. Herbst said that not having overall priority registration will not only affect the team, but the coaches as well. “If half of our team is missing at practice, it defeats the whole purpose,” she said. “It becomes a burden on our coaches.” Some Honors College students said they were also unhappy with the decision. “If you are in the Honors College and you’ve earned that spot, you deserve the privilege of priority registration,” sophomore Alyssa Hansen said. First year Clair Purcell said that because Honors College classes take up more time, the benefit of early registration is helpful. The new system will be in place for the registration for Fall 2011 courses, Knodell’s letter stated.