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Fall registration changes strive for fairness

By Nicole Zhao     8/22/12 7:00pm


Waitlists were purged for the first time in the system's third semester at Rice. 

On the morning of Aug. 22, waitlists for all courses that opted to have a waitlist were purged, except for courses that specifically requested to keep the waitlist active through the shopping period, according to the Registrar's website. After the purge, students were able to special register for classes or add classes on a space-available basis. 

Registrar David Tenney (Sid Richardson '87) said that this purge was requested by faculty members so that the ultimate decision to add students depended on course instructors. 

"If you go to the instructor and you say, 'I'm a senior. I need this class,' you may have been 47th on the waitlist, but now they have the right to put you in the class," Tenney said. "All through the summer, the waitlist [was] in place and was fair for four months. On Wednesday, it [reverts] the flexibility back to the instructor."

The third day of classes was specifically chosen to ensure that every class had met once before the purge, Tenney said. 

Martel College senior Navi Dhaliwal thought that the purge improved the waitlist process. 

"Waitlists being purged on the third day of classes strikes a nice balance between allowing instructor autonomy and creating a fair system for all students attempting to enter a class," Dhaliwal said. 

Brown College sophomore Sarah Frazier thought the waitlist made up for the unfairness of registering by credit hours. 

"It gives upperclassmen who came in with fewer hours more of a chance to get into classes, since they aren't bound by the waiting list order, which is basically determined by registration time slot," Frazier said. 

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