Want to take your sociology class pass/fail? Want out of that dull class that meets at 8 a.m.? Do it now.

Sarah Royce

The LSA drop/add deadline is today, just three weeks into the fall semester. Some classes have met only a few times, and many students still haven’t taken their first test. But because the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts has unnecessarily paired the drop and add deadlines, today is students’ last chance to make a clean break without that nasty “W” on their transcript.

The University claims that the “W” is neutral, but students are right in having their doubts. When handing over their transcripts to employers, a “W” next to the name of a course requires a thorough explanation at the very least. Yet what a late drop means is not necessarily that a student screwed up. Perhaps it took a student more than three weeks to realize he was in over his head, or that something else went wrong – a bout with mono, or a death in the family. Administrators realize the “W” can be unfair; that’s why first-term students are allowed to drop a class after the drop/add deadline free of any damning marks on their official transcript (though it remains on the unofficial one). There seems little reason why the administration couldn’t extend the same courtesy to students well past their first term.

The “W” is an unnecessary punishment for students who drop late, that have already paid their tuition and lost the credit. There’s no intrinsic reason why the University must keep the drop and add deadlines on the same day, while there are strong reasons why a later drop deadline would benefit students. For now, make sure everything is as you want it on Wolverine Access, because you can’t change it tomorrow.

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