Editorial: USF shouldn’t try to reinvent the registration process

Glen Besterfield, associate dean of undergraduate studies, has proposed three new ways for students to register for classes.

As it stands, students from select groups — such as honors students or student athletes — get to register before the rest get a crack at classes. Everyone else’s registration time depends on what year they are in their academic career. Seniors go first, then juniors, then sophomores and finally, freshmen.

Besterfield’s proposals, however, would single out students according to their GPA or Honors College enrollment.

Option A would give first-day priority to students with GPAs higher than 3.75. Seniors with GPAs higher than 3.5, student athletes and students with disabilities would be next in line.

Option B would be the same but would allow honors students to register for classes before anyone else in their respective class level, regardless of GPA.

Option C would be another variant of A, with honors students getting first-day priority, no matter their GPAs.

Out of the options given, however, the correct one is Option D: none of the above.

Though it would be nice to reward honors students and other groups for doing a good job academically, it is unfair to the rest of the student body.

There are a variety of reasons students may not have a 3.5 or 3.75 GPA and they may have nothing to do with mediocrity.

Not every student has the luxury of scholarships, loans and/or parents who can help them through college. Many work more than one job just to eat and pay for school. Kids, marriages, living arrangements and work are among the top reasons why some students may not be able to achieve such a high GPA. And while the system that is in place may not be ideal, punishing students who have less than a target GPA is not an answer.

That is not to say that the way honors students get to register for classes should be overlooked. After all, the Honors College sponsors some of the brightest minds of the University. But the goal of revamping the program should be to benefit students, not work against them.

Surely, pushing away students or forcing them to stay in college longer because they could not register for a class due to inadequate grades isn’t the way to go about this.

Yes, of course the University would love to have a system in play that promotes academic values, but regardless of what Besterfield may say, the proposal comes down to punishing those who may be trying just as hard as the rest, but simply can’t make it.