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The Raucous Caucus: Minors not allowed without proper supervision

Illustration by Holly Randall
By Jason Poreda
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
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So let me get this straight: You're a minor in whatever. You're a few semesters away from graduating, or maybe even a few years. You're excited about whatever major and minor, happily going about your college experience and contributing to the college community.

It's right then you find out the only way you can get any classes on this campus is to be a major and a senior in something. Tough luck, I guess.

Registration and class availability have been a big problem on campus for the past few years, and every year it has gotten worse. Now, it is so bad that departments are either cutting minors completely or locking them out of classes to make room for students who have chosen that field as their major.

So much for a well- rounded education.

I'm just glad I got through the system mostly unscathed and will graduate in May, because next year looks to be the worst year yet as far as class availability goes. I'm hearing from everyone I talk to who is coming back next year that getting into classes they need is darn near impossible. A friend of mine was lucky enough to get into a class she needed, only to find out it was canceled a few weeks later. Now, with good reason, she is in panic mode, trying to shuffle her schedule around to make sure she gets into any class, let alone an upper-division class she needs for her degree.

Jason Poreda

This is a travesty students who want to learn are not being allowed to. The UA should be catering to students instead of putting up more roadblocks and hoops, creating a labyrinth to maneuver in order to graduate at all, let alone in four, five or even six years.

Last week, the administration told the student body that it's worried about this. "We in the central administration are very worried about that," administrators said.

We students have been fighting through this for years; it's nice to see they are worried about it, even if it is pathetically too little, too late.

Granted, many of these problems are directly related to the severe budget cuts the Legislature gift-wrapped for us the past few years. But the administration should have addressed this problem long ago, knowing less money would force departments into taking drastic measures.

Right now, our university is gearing toward the Focused Excellence plan that President Likins presented two years ago is this what "Focused Excellence" means? Departments focusing on students who are majors and not giving an opportunity to other students minoring in that same subject?

I sincerely hope not, because this institution shouldn't put a noose around students by requiring them to take particular classes in order to graduate, telling them they can do it in four years and then allowing departments to pick and choose who gets into those classes and who has to take underwater basket weaving, bowling and other gen eds for a few semesters.

Well, at least those same students will be here to watch more basketball games and see coach Stoops turn the football team around. They might even be able to see whatever the next great construction project is on campus. They might even be able to see it finished.

This is not right. Students shouldn't have to sit around while they wait for their turn to fulfill a requirement.

Students should be given a chance to take classes they want to take. Isn't the point of going to college to learn about life, whatever interests you and to discover new interests? When I was in high school and my advisers were talking to me about college, they told me that was what college was about, not majoring in everything I was interested in just so I could get into classes. This is something the UA needs to change so that future Wildcats aren't stuck in a holding pattern until their kids start college before they graduate.

Jason Poreda is a senior graduating in political science and communication. He can be reached for advice to get into classes at

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