Two-pass Enrollment Causes Student-Body Headache

by Claire Hsieh

A new change has come to UCSD, and this time, it affects one of the most important aspects of UCSD: classes.

The Office of Registrar released an email back in February stating that a two-pass enrollment system would be implemented starting registration for Fall Quarter 2012.

For incoming freshmen, this system would be in place during registration for Winter Quarter classes.

The two-pass enrollment, which splits a student’s registration of classes into two parts, restricts students’ choice of classes to 11.5 units with no waitlist option during the “first pass” and to 19.5 units with waitlist option during the “second pass”.

The first pass is limited to an approximate 48 hour time frame, and students who miss their first pass must wait till their second pass to enroll for any classes.

To add to the complication of two pass enrollment, students may only enroll in up to 22 units, like previous times, upon the first day of instruction.

UCSD’s Office of Registrar had stated in its March 2012 newsletter that the new two-pass enrollment is to “ensure that everyone has the opportunity to enroll in required pre-major, major, and GE courses”.

Although the Office of Registrar had clearly hoped for the two-pass enrollment to bring about equal opportunity for all students, the new enrollment has brought about a headache for some students.

Stated an anonymous upperclassmen, “Some of my classes that I chose for Winter Quarter are six units each because they are specialized courses for my specific major; I can’t even enroll for two classes under this two-pass enrollment system. This is worse than being on the wait-list for a required class that you know you won’t be able to get into by the deadline.”

A previous education concern for UCSD students has been the fact that budget cuts and limited funding for the University led to bigger classrooms and more students being put on the waitlist. The headache of having to graduate in five years because of the inability to get all the courses needed is still on the minds of many UCSD students. The fact that the Office of Registrar had implemented the two-pass enrollment, which adds on to the threat of the waitlist, doesn’t make many upperclassmen  students happy.

Despite the friction between upperclassmen and two-pass enrollment, this new system has actually been a sigh of relief for some lower classmen.

“It would be nice to get all my classes at once, but I like it better that the people who have so much more units than me won’t be able to just take over every single class that I need to take,”  said an anonymous first-year student. “I’d rather put up with the annoyance of not being able to get all my classes at once than not being able to get any of the classes that I want.”

Under this new system of two-pass enrollment, more first years have stated that enrollment for classes has become less of a headache because the chances of being put on the waitlist goes down and equal opportunity for the same classes as other students with more units goes up.

The question then becomes whether it is fair for upperclassmen to sacrifice in order for the lowerclassmen to benefit.

“Being a first year, I understand that two-pass enrollment works out better, but what happens when I become an upperclassman? Besides, two-pass enrollment is such a hassle. I don’t like it at all,” voiced first year Vanessa Flores of Marshall College.

Another question arises when one questions why UCSD needed to implement a new enrollment system in the first place.

Of course, the increasing amounts of students on waitlists is a tell-tale sign that there were issues with the enrollment system, but budget cuts and limited funding amongst all UCs need to be remembered. Was the two pass enrollment implemented out of an effort by the Office of Registrar to fix the problem of waitlists, or was it merely conforming to what other UCs have done to their own enrollment system?

Other UCs such as UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC Davis have already implemented the two-pass system, with UC Santa Cruz using a two-pass system for all students with non-senior status, and UC Santa Barbara having a three-pass system.

Whether hurting upperclassmen in the enrollment process is justified by the benefits lowerclassmen receive and whether UCSD actually needed a new enrollment system in the first place is still in question.

 But until UCSD students can reach a unanimous decision, the two-pass enrollment system will be here to stay.



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