Non-majors are taking up major-specific class spots

The rush for Spring 2017 registration begins Nov. 2. Some students make mock schedules; some plan to fly into the process blindly. Regardless of the preparation involved, students will have to wait until their registration date to see if the classes they need are still available.

This can be especially frustrating for those who are required to take smaller-sized classes, as those tend to fill up quickly. Classes that are required for specific majors have limited seats and high demand, and can be filled up before the second half of the registration waves are even given the chance to secure a spot in the course.

Certain classes have very specific reasons for remaining selective. Some may require the use of a lab with a limited amount of computers, such as a photography class. Some may require significant teacher involvement, making a larger class harder to teach properly, such as a musical methods class, where each student must learn to play a new instrument.

In other cases, it is less clear as to why the classes must remain small. For example, courses that are primarily lecture-based are sometimes kept at a smaller student count than others. This can be due to space or teacher preference, it seems unfair that students who are required to take the course cannot fit limited classes into their schedule until later in their college career. Classes could be moved to bigger spaces or Teaching Assistants could help manage the larger class size.

Many smaller departments face frustration from students who are members of their major programs. High demand for classes that have limited classroom space and a lack of professors may be the reason many departments are struggling to grow. However, allowing outside majors to take major courses as electives is one part of the problem that can and needs to be addressed.

For example, business majors are given multiple options when fulfilling foreign language courses. Instead of the typical modern language courses offered to most students, business majors are able to take journalism courses in place of the credit. In order to combat the rising interest in these classes, a course was added specifically for business majors. A large number of the members who were presented this option chose to take the course meant for journalism majors, heedless of the stress it put on the department.

Some may argue that the registration system is set as first come, first served, so there is no wrong being done by beating out majors in their own department. This does not take into account the repercussions of students early on in their major track missing out on prerequisite courses that allow them to continue their track on time.

In order to combat issues like these, Baylor should work to supply enough staff and space for the number of students registering for classes. Additionally, certain courses should not allow outside majors to take up space in major courses, as long as non-major courses are provided for them.

Signing up for courses three months in advance is already stressful enough: A few simple changes could alleviate some of the added stress of registration and would do much to help those who have previously fought for space in classes they are required to be in.