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As semester closes, registration headaches emerge

It's now the middle of November. We are making the final push for Thanksgiving and preparations are already being made for Christmas.

Here at Seton Hall, and colleges across the country, students are already focusing on next semester. Earlier this month, registration began for the Spring 2010 semester.
As is custom for class selection, the senior class picks first, followed by juniors, sophomores and ending with the freshmen.

As a sophomore journalism student, I am a part of one of the largest schools in the university, the school of Communications in the Arts and Sciences department.

Just like everyone else, I met with my advisor well in advance of registration time to plan out the different classes that I should choose from.

As it turned out, I had essentially completed all of my department core classes and even the lower level journalism classes, meaning that it was now time to take the higher level journalism classes, like News Reporting and Publication Editing.

In the days leading up to registration, I continued to monitor the different classes that I would attempt to register for, and found that half way through the junior registration most of the classes that I was scheduled to take were closed.

As a precaution, I had a few back-up classes to choose from, but those too were closed.
When I told my advisor about the situation, the response I got was disturbing. She said that half of the junior class were going through the same problem with being closed out of classes.

Being the one of the largest departments in the University, one would think that there would be a large amount of classes and sections to choose from. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

There was only one News Reporting I and Publications Editing section being offered. This would not have been such a problem, but the maximum amount of students allowed to register into these classes is 17.

Out of all of the journalism students that need to take these classes as mandated by the university, and any other student who is a junior or senior looking to take one of these classes as an elective, only 34 total students are able to take the class.

This is a major problem. I cannot blame the students for waiting to take these classes until the end of their junior or senior years, but blame needs to be put on the department and the university.

You can't mandate students to take classes when there are not enough sections to go around. The solution to this problem has got to be to add more sections or offer more alternatives, but even that has become a problem.

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On the list of classes for journalism students to take, are several sections of electives. Unfortunately, even these classes were closed or not being offered at all.

If this continues to be a problem, students are going to be "turned off" by this and are eventually going to transfer to a university where class selection is not going to be a problem.

A word of advice for the higher ups of this university: start to offer more classes so that a bigger problem does not arise - that being low enrollment.

Tim LeCras can be reached at


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