April 7, 2023 | NEWS | By Charlotte Maley

As students gear up to start looking at classes for next semester, picking through general education and major requirements, and even looking for a wild card ‘fun’ course to throw in somewhere, they will undoubtedly be thinking about their priorities.

Upcoming seniors, in particular, will have a hard time not thinking in terms of which class should get the most of their points. Colorado College, which has long used a point-based class delegation system to award courses, has instilled in students a bidding mindset to successfully get accepted into the seats of desired classes.

However, this gambling process is a skill no longer needed by the students at CC. On Wednesday, March 22 the registrar’s office sent out an announcement to the CC community revealing a new and improved seniority-based system which delegates classes based on class standing instead.

In the past, CC has used a point-based priority system to assign class spots. The highest bidder got the seat and ties were randomized. According to the registrar’s office, many students over the years have expressed frustration over the point system, complaining of not being able to meet basic requirements for their major.

Dean of the College, Pedro de Araujo, explained that “there’s always been conversation about the inequities associated with the point system. The moment that you give everyone the same amount of points… but you don’t really take into consideration that different paths and different majors may require different points, what you’re really creating is a system in which if you choose a major that doesn’t really require any points, you’re at an advantage.”

People in majors where there is more competition for spots in required classes, explained de Araujo, are forced to make decisions about what they need and not necessarily what they want, which was the problem the point system was meant to prevent in the first place. The point system also allowed for first and second-year students to take spots from upperclassmen who needed those classes to graduate.

The new system is the first pre-registration change made since the one just a few years ago, which meant students registered for only the following semester and not the entirety of the coming year. At the time of this change to a semester-based registration, according to de Araujo, administrators found that most students “really did not like” the point system.

After pondering this dislike for a few years, the admin made the final call: a change was needed. “The seniority-based system,” a class allocation system which gives priority based on credits earned (excluding credits earned outside of an institution, such as those earned in an IB or AP program), is not new, said de Araujo. Most colleges and universities in the US do it the ‘seniority’ way, and CC was in the minority by using the point system.

Before going through with the decision, a simulation was performed using registration data. The experiment found that the changes in preregistration will not affect 85 percent of registrations. However, of that 15 percent that are affected, the only change is that seniors will win in coin tosses with underclassmen.

“There was a benefit to seniors,” explained de Araujo, “No question about it. Every senior pretty much gets whatever they want.” Juniors are in the same boat, but to a lesser degree, while first-years and sophomores will be given worse odds of getting what they want.

Although on the surface this seems like a disadvantage to underclassmen, de Araujo explains that it gives them the opportunity to focus on prerequisites and not feel pressured to get into upper-level classes at the first opportunity. “The hope is that this system improves the path towards graduation,” he says.

Although most upperclassmen are thrilled about this decision, certain underclassmen have expressed concern. The fear is that they won’t be able to get into any desired classes.

“As a rising sophomore, we didn’t really get to practice the point system, but I get that there were issues with it.” says Kaitlyn ‘Wilks 26, “[but] I feel like, as a sophomore, [the new system] kind of fucks us over. I’m ready to start taking 200-300 level classes that juniors and seniors will get in first just to fill gen-eds, even though it’s not part of their major.”

As pre-registration for the upcoming fall semester looms ever closer, students at CC will for the first time be considering their class standing and not gambling abilities.

If this change seems drastic, be warned that CC may be looking at yet another change coming to the process sometime in the future. According to the Dean of the College, a live and in person pre-registration process would be the ideal. Until then, however, students need only take into consideration their class standing, and not what building they need to show up at on some Tuesday in April.

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