U of R pilots new wait list program

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Program extends wait list duration

As of the winter term, the policy around wait lists has shifted while the university tests out a new timeline. Before this trial, wait lists for courses would expire upon the first day of classes in a given semester. The pilot program looks to extend the life of wait lists by approximately one week, allowing students more flexibility, as per a student affairs email sent campus-wide on Jan. 6. This means the lists will be held onto until 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 11

The first week or so of classes see a lot of flux as students finalize their schedules and determine which and how many classes they would like to take. When registering for courses for a following semester many weeks prior, a student’s future class-load may seem attainable. In practice however, after getting five separate syllabi, each with varying expectations and outcomes, many students choose to re-evaluate their commitments. Many instructors decide to only start tracking attendance (for those who choose to do so) closer to mid-January because of this constant revolving door. Extending the duration of the wait list means that wait listed students have a greater chance of getting a spot in their desired class.

Without a longer wait list time, many students aren’t able to use the privileges that these lists create during the transitional start of the semester. Longer wait list times are especially essential for students needing to fill certain requirements for their degree.

Additionally, many students only cancel classes they don’t plan on attending after classes begin. There is no incentive to drop these classes earlier as the 100 per cent refund period lasts for two weeks after the start of term.

Alixx Davidson, a student in the Faculty of MAP working toward a BFA in visual arts, believes that this change is for the better.

“I think this change of practice makes sense. It seems only fair that if a spot opens up it be offered to someone who‘s been waiting for it. Missing the first class or two is never ideal, but it wouldn’t set you too far behind either and [it] would be worth it if it’s a credit you need for your program. I really don’t see any downsides to this, except that I’m not sure if a single semester would give enough data to accurately represent the impact.”

The university plans to analyze this pilot project upon its completion before making any permanent changes to this policy.

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