Regents asking for stricter policies to curb abuse of add/drop process

By Charles Ratliff
Arizona Daily Wildcat
January 23, 1996

Katherine K. Gardiner
Arizona Daily Wildcat

A large crowd of students line up Friday to take advantage of the last Add/Drop day at the Center for Computing and Information Technology. The sudden turnout during the lunch hour was unexpected to many students.


Pre-education sophomore Lawrence Samuels needed to drop all of his classes for this semester. So he did what every other student adding or dropping a course did - he went to CCIT Room 236.

As Samuels pushed his infant son Nicholas through the line Friday, he realized he should have expected the student turnout on the last day of service for the Registrar's Office at the computing center.

"I've never seen anything like this," Samuels said. "There's a lot of people here."

Friday, the last day for undergraduates to add classes, saw the registrar's staff at CCIT handling an average of 200 add/drop requests per hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the service center closed its doors, said Frank Lopez, a senior office specialist.

"It was odd," Lopez said, "we didn't have any lines until that point."

Lopez said the peak times during last week were Thursday at 11 a.m. and then again at 2 p.m., topped only by the influx of Friday afternoon.

The Arizona Board of Regents, concerned that students were abusing the add/drop process, asked administrators at all three universities last year to look at ways of improving the system to curb abuse in the future.

At the last regents meeting, each of the universities presented policy changes and implementations that will help cut down on the abuse.

UA Registrar Arlene Becella said that despite the heavy turnout last Friday, her office has seen a continual decline in the number of add/drop requests since the spring 1994 semester.

Starting this semester, she said, the Registrar's Office has increased class availability for undergraduate students and cut down on students adding or dropping classes by encouraging students to plan their schedules earlier.

In trying to do that, Becella said, the Registrar's Office began dropping students due to non-payment on the first day of classes.

This, she said, "frees up thousands of seats" and gives paying students earlier access to needed courses.

Also, Becella said, her office will limit undergraduates to 16 credits, down from 19, during fall priority registration this spring.

After priority registration students can enroll in 19 units, she said.

Becella said she will also begin an education campaign this semester to let students know about the priority deadlines for registration and adding and dropping classes.

The last day to drop classes using RSVP is Feb. 7. Classes dropped prior to the deadline will not show up on students' transcripts. After the deadline, the dropped class will show up as "W" for withdrawal or "E" for failure, depending on the professor.

Casey King, communications junior, said it took him half an hour to go through the line for his add/drop process during lunch Friday.

He said he didn't mind, though.

"They get everybody through quickly," he said. "They pretty much map it out for you. You follow the lines on the floor and it's difficult to get lost."