(Rachel Stone)

By Kaylia Cornett

The advising season has begun, and while some students may not be feeling the pressure of meshing classes into a comfortable schedule, others may be forced to settle for a semester routine void of classes they need to be taking in order to graduate on time.In an attempt to alleviate this problem for certain student populations on campus this semester, university officials have developed a new course registration policy, effective for spring 2010, that will allow some student groups to register for classes earlier than others.

“Certain constituents on campus believed priority registration was [needed] because particular groups of students experienced [problems] in making academic progress because of scheduling constraints,” Tina Davis, university registrar said.

The new policy will allow graduates and seniors with 102 or more hours completed, or in progress, to register first. Then selected students with specific disabilities, honors program students, student-athletes and spirit group members will be granted the chance to register next. Seniors, juniors, sophomores, freshmen and all other remaining students will fall in line beginning the following day.

“The approved designated populations are faced with a range of scheduling constraints,” Davis said. “While many students have [scheduling] conflicts.the athlete, spirit groups, band and honors students represent designated populations [that] are formally associated with EKU.”

Davis explained that because of these students’ involvement in university activities they essentially have a relationship with the institution, acting as representatives of the university. That student involvement results in time commitments that can restrict their scheduling options.

Athletes must also adhere to academic progress rules outlined in the NCAA regulations. The University Athletics Committee, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Office of Services for Individuals with Disabilities first proposed the idea for the policy, Davis said. It took more than a year for the proposal to be approved and Davis said the faculty senate and the Student Government Association, who pushed for the idea, discussed it at length beginning in 2007.

Upon researching other state institution’s policies, the faculty senate discovered that five of the seven public universities in Kentucky have implemented priority registration policies for similar student populations, Davis said.

Not everyone is excited about the change in the registration lineup, though.

“Us poor people that have to work also have scheduling conflicts,” said Crystal Brockman, a sophomore English major, who disagrees with student athletes and spirit groups receiving priority registration.

Gina Miller, a junior and member of the honors program, said she understood why people with disabilities should receive priority registration, but believes the system in place now is more reasonable and equal to the general student body, but should have a stronger emphasis on GPA.

“It is only fair to let people whose academic performance and seniority are highest [register first],” Miller said. “After all, we go to college for academics.”

Students who have questions regarding the policy can view the document at Eastern’s policy Web site listed under “Course Registration” at www.policies.eku.edu. Student information is also available online at the Colonel’s Compass, or students can call the Registrar’s Office registration help line at 622-2320.