February 11, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 73  

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EDITORIAL

Two weeks is plenty of time

One of the initiatives put forward this year by the Student Caucus on Governance has been to have the status of withdrawn courses removed from academic transcripts. This means that for students who have withdrawn from courses after the end of that hellish period we have all come to know and love as add/drop and between the final date to drop without academic penalty, there will no longer be a note on transcripts which shows the course withdrawal.

Currently, for students who drop courses during the add/drop period, it will not show on their academic transcript. Those students who decide to drop a course after the final deadline are likely failing the course regardless and deserve the fail assessed by the Registrar’s Office.

For the grey area in between these periods, showing that someone has withdrawn from a course is important as it can have a revealing look into the type of student they are. These notes do not show the course as a fail and therefore have no bearing on your academic record.

What they do reveal however, is if certain students are prone to withdrawing or are simply too lazy to get the course dropped during the add/drop period.

Students should use the resources available to them before they choose their courses; from checking the reading lists to looking at professor evaluations or possibly talking to departments about specific courses. If students spent the same amount of time on selecting courses as they did selecting their Jim Bob’s outfits, they wouldn’t have this problem of the withdrawal to begin with.

In the cases of withdrawals based on personal or medical reasons, addressing these concerns to faculty deans will have the withdrawn note removed from the transcript. If you can provide legitimate reasons for dropping a course after the add/drop period, then there is nothing to worry about.

It is hard to assess whether applications for graduate or professional schools are affected by withdrawns, but for those who do not have legitimate reasons they should suffer the consequences of their actions. Employers do not generally check university transcripts when hiring, just simply that you have graduated, making withdrawns irrelevant in this instance.

What should instead be addressed are some of the bigger problems faced by students — notably add/drop itself. The Office of the Registrar should be looking into keeping their online registration services available so students can add or drop courses during this period without the hassle of long lines. This is done at other universities, so why is it not available to students here?

Making Registrar services more efficient for students would more accurately address the root of the problems associated with withdrawn notes on university transcripts.

 

 

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