Background: During the registration period at the beginning of each semester the "add" period is currently five class days, while the "drop" period is ten class days. Many students sign up for one or two extra courses which they drop near the end of the two week drop period, at a point when other students cannot take advantage of the spaces created in the courses. For example, during the Spring Semester 2000, 2,854 spaces were freed during the last five days of the drop period and a total of 4,601 spaces were freed after the period when students could add them. These spaces could be made available to other students if the "drop" period were shorter than the "add" period by one day.
In making this resolution, the Executive Committee discussed extensively what length the "drop" and "add" periods should be. The Committee did not consider it pedagogically sound to allow students to add courses for a full ten days (currently the length of the "drop" period); especially in many science courses, this would place students who add late at a serious disadvantage. It would also make organizing courses in which students work in groups or as partners difficult until the registration period is finished. The Executive Committee therefore has tried to strike a balance which will allow students two or three class meetings for every class period combination in which they can attend classes they are considering taking, without making the "add" period so long that it disrupts course work. The Executive Committee recognizes that such a significant shift from our current system may affect faculty and students in ways we cannot predict, and therefore have suggested that this be done as a trial during Spring 2001. Following the trial period, the data would be reviewed, along with other issues related to registration, by the Committee on Academic Standards, Regulations, and Admissions, and additionally by the Student Affairs Committee.
Be It Resolved that the University Senate recommends that the "add/drop" period for Spring Semester 2001 be changed so that students may add courses during the first eight class days of the semester, and may drop courses without a "W" during the first seven class days of the semester. Following this trial period, the Senate Executive Committee shall charge the appropriate committees (Committee on Academic Standards, Regulations, and Admissions and Student Affairs Committee) to review the trial period and other matters related to registration.