Short Term Registration Fails to Consider Seniority

Registration for 2023 Short Term opened on Saturday, March 4 and closed Friday, March 10. Students were notified of their class optimization results Wednesday, March 15. 

The same optimization system that was used for the 2022-23 academic year was used to place students in their Short Term classes. In an email, Megan McHenry, the acting registrar, explained that “the general objective of this system [is] to give students an equal opportunity to gain entry into the limited-enrollment courses they [want] or [need].” 

Due to the fact that this system does not account for major, minor, or class year, some upperclassmen have expressed displeasure with the difficulty of getting into their top-choice classes.

“I think the optimization system should not exist as it creates anxieties over the student body,” Gabi Meisel ‘23 said in an email. Meisel highlighted that many students in their last year still have not experienced Short Term. She suggested that because of this, “there should be a seniority system along with the people that need priority to meet their major requirements.”

Meisel herself has never experienced Short Term due to COVID-19 interruptions and studying abroad last year. “I really wanted to sign up for Chinese cooking class but knew there would be a good chance of not getting in,” she said, further explaining that she believes students with more opportunities to take Short Term should get less priority than seniors. 

Grace Biddle ‘23 expressed similar opinions about the optimization system and Short Term registration. “I wish the tradition of Short Term could be more about the content of the course and less about scheduling,” Biddle stated in an email. Unable to get into the class of her choice, Biddle, “hope[s] professors are urged to take upperclassmen into consideration while petitioning.”

When asked if seniority would ever be factored into the optimization process, McHenry stated, “If the faculty were to make changes to the registration system in the future, our office would work closely with them on any future conception and implementation, but I can’t say what a new system might include or not include.”

Petitions for classes were due March 19 and accepted petitions were returned March 29 to the Registrar’s office to be processed. Add/Drop opened Monday, April 3 for all students.