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“Students will be adversely affected and I don’t think they’ve thought about that,” he said. “I want to hear that there is an acknowledgement that there is a problem and (the registrar) is willing to try to create a solution before it becomes a problem for students.”
Greenwald has two concerns with the new registration process. First, he believes there was no Academic Senate involvement prior to the development of the registration.
“I have talked to the present and past chair of the senate and the instruction committee,” he said. “None of them were aware of this prior to the announcement of the new policy.”
Psychology and child development professor Gary Laver, who serves as the Academic Senate chair, said that the senate arguably was not directly consulted.
However, Laver stressed that the registrar consulted different constituents including faculty, students and departments.
“He was correct that the senate proper was never brought into the process,” Laver said. “That’s not to say there wasn’t campuswide involvement. It is incorrect to make the argument that no input was collected,” he said.
Second, Greenwald views the new policy as a “zero sum game” because it does not create new sections, but rather puts certain groups of students at a disadvantage.
“This system rewards students for making progress toward degree, and there are a lot of students in a lot of categories who through no fault of their own are not able to take as many classes as others,” Greenwald said. “Not only are things hard for them, but we are in the process of making things harder.”
According to Greenwald, the disadvantaged students include at risk students, change of major, first generation, part-time, study abroad, low income, self-support, veterans, students with disabilities who have not yet been approved for disability status and students who take leave for serious or compelling reasons.
Greenwald believes the new policy was done without proper consultation and therefore wants a strategy to help students who will be hindered.
“My request to the registrar is to delay full implementation of new registration until there is a plan to protect those at-risk students who will be disadvantaged by the new registration system,” he said.
On the other hand, Cal Poly Registrar Cem Sunata believes that students are not at risk.
“This system is much more efficient than the other system because the goal is to graduate the students,” he said
In response to Greenwald’s concerns, Sunata says veterans are entitled to priority registration by law. Additionally, he does not think the new registration process will put students at a disadvantage simply based on students’ differential progress in relation to their major-specific flow chart.
“Students closer to graduation are going for a level of classes that is different than the student coming after them,” Sunata said. “Seniors are taking senior-level classes, they aren’t taking junior-level classes.”
The Academic Senate meeting will be held from 3:10 – 5 p.m. on Tuesday in the University Union (UU 220). During this meeting, Sunata will be reporting to the full senate on the nature and timing of the new registration policy and procedure. A Q&A session will follow, opening the floor to those interested in voicing their opinions.
Greenwald plans to address his concerns at this time.
“If I am satisfied with the response that there is a recognition of a problem and that we need to formulate a strategy to protect the at-risk students, then I’m probably okay,” he said.
However, if Greenwald is not satisfied, he has the opportunity to submit his proposed draft to the senate executive committee, is in charge of determining whether proposed resolutions go to the floor of the senate for adoption or rejection, according to Laver.
“I do think it is fully appropriate for anyone that suspects a problem to come in and ask the registrar what their take is on that,” Laver said. “He is very much welcomed to send the resolution.”