It’s that time of year again: Students are anticipating Thanksgiving break and finals are looming in the distance. With this comes registering for classes for Winter 2011, an exciting process as the University offers a wide range of classes. But for some of us — like me — registration can be a terribly stressful time.

Before the option of backpacking even opened, I was already thinking of what classes I wanted to take. Since this is the last semester during which I will have the opportunity to take first-year seminars, my tentative schedule includes at least one — and hopefully two — of them. So when backpacking began on Nov. 15, I was ready at my computer to pick my classes. Since I had already gone through the course guide and crafted a perfect schedule, I was ready to backpack as soon as it went live. But then I remembered I needed to check my registration date. At that point, I found that I will not be registering until Dec. 13 — one of the latest possible days. I was furious as I saw my perfect semester start to slip away.

I didn’t understand why I was in one of the worst situations possible. As a freshman, I have only backpacked and registered for classes once before and that was at orientation. At orientation, you register the day after you backpack, so you know exactly what your schedule will be. Later, I was informed that registration dates were determined by the amount of credits a student has. So a senior would have an earlier registration date than a freshman — which I’m fine with. They should have priority. But what I didn’t understand was why one of my close friends — also a freshman — had a registration date almost two weeks before mine. I then learned that Advanced Placement credits were the determining factor.

But as freshmen, we’re all relatively in the same boat and no one has really had the opportunity to establish themselves here on campus. I don’t think that using AP credits as a way of determining registration dates is fair.

I understand that some people come in with many AP credits — and that’s great for them. But some of us aren’t that lucky. As a student from a very small high school (only 97 students in my graduating class), we were only offered a small number of AP classes. So I had fewer opportunities to earn AP credits than my peers from larger high schools. I don’t think students like me who didn’t have the chance to take as many AP classes should be punished when it comes to registering for classes.

Aside from the AP credits, there’s also the issue of student-athletes. In a Daily article from November 2008, it was reported that “athletes will receive priority over non-athletes when registering for classes.” Athletic officials backed up their policy by saying that athletes typically travel on Fridays and therefore need to be able to schedule classes around travel times. I agree that it can be more difficult for an athlete to craft a schedule because they want to miss as little class as possible, but it’s completely unnecessary for them to have the first registration dates. In my opinion, it’s not difficult to find a schedule that would allow you to not have class of Fridays.

So between the student-athletes — which I’m not — and the people with a ridiculous amount of AP credits — which I don’t have — I’m stuck with a poor registration date. I may sound like I’m just complaining because I have a late date, but there are other students in the same situation as me. We all pay to attend the University, and we should all be given an equal chance to get the education we want. The University needs to implement a better way of assigning registration dates.

Ashley Griesshammer is an LSA freshman.

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