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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Need to graduate on time?

Imagine your degree program not having enough classes to accommodate you.

That was the UA English and creative writing departments’ problems last spring. They created more classes for this semester to accommodate each student.

Alyssa Spungen, a creative writing junior, experienced difficulty while trying to enroll in certain English classes.

“”When I registered for my classes last spring, I was not able to get any core classes I needed except for junior seminar,”” Spungen said.

She became so frustrated that she changed to a completely new major — philosophy.

Spungen was upset because she only had access to upper division English classes, as opposed to the classes she was interested in.

“”I wasn’t that upset about taking upper division electives, because I’m sure they are all interesting. However, I would have felt more confident with a more rounded schedule this year, being a junior,”” Spungen said.

Many were taken aback at the predicament that the departments were faced with.

“”I didn’t realize how popular of a major creative writing was,”” UA professor Jason B. Brown said.

His surprise continued upon learning of the new classes that were added; courses such as script writing replaced more traditional English courses.

“”I feel like some of the substitute classes offered are a little random,”” Brown said. “”There are so many students who want to take higher English classes, but there is just simply not enough room. I have students who are stealing chairs from other classrooms just so they can be in my class.””

Brown is also a UA academic advisor and sees how, despite the squeeze, the new class setup has some benefits to the department and the university overall.

“”The university is struggling a great deal financially, so there are limited classes. However, it forces students to enroll in classes at a much earlier date instead of waiting until the last minute,”” Brown said. “”It is a much more organized system.””

Some of the younger students agree with Brown that the organization of the system as a whole is good idea.

Carina Enriquez, a creative writing freshman, had many of the same troubles as Spungen despite her recent arrival but remains positive about the future.

“”I think this way it will help freshman take the basic major classes, then work their way up to the harder division classes,”” Enriquez said.

Contrarily, older students are frustrated to use a new system that changes their graduation plans.

“”A lot of students just want to be able to graduate in four years, and this new system is holding us back,”” Spungen said.

The UA is undergoing many changes due to an increased freshman population and budget cuts, and these changes are making situations like those within the English and creative writing departments even more common.

With these cuts, students who are having a harder time paying for classes and graduating on time are willing to do whatever it takes to make the grade.

“”Students will go to any extreme to get into these classes,”” said Liz Warren-Pederson, the manager of marketing communications at the Eller College of Management. “”As a university, we are very lucky to have some dedicated students who will go to a whole new level just to get into one class.””

Warren-Pederson explained that some students are not happy with the changes, so they ended up changing their majors.

“”I think it shows us something that all of the higher up English-creative writing (students) are frustrated, but there is nothing we as professors can do,”” Warren-Pederson said. “”It saddens me that students really desire to take a certain class, but they can’t, and there is nothing I can do.””

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