As Executive Board members of the Associated Students gathered Wednesday to give an update on the status of their activities and to discuss budgets, the topic of added enrollment priorities created a platform for differing opinions on the way priority enrollment should be decided.
The members were asked to review the changes that were made to the Enrollment and Class Scheduling Priories Policy in which first priority would be given to fully matriculated new and continuing military veterans, foster youth, Extended Opportunity Program students, Disabled Student Programs and Services students and Cal Work students. Second priority would be given to graduating and graduation initiative students. Students in their first year of the Pathways program would be third in line. Fully matriculated students in their second and third year of pathways, athletes, elected associated students executive board members and international students would have fourth priority.
While Chief Justice of the Supreme Council, Thomas Hatfield, said he liked that students who are ready to graduate or transfer are getting the classes they need, he did not agree with giving first year students, whether they are in the Pathways program or not, priority enrollment over continuing students.
“We’re still stuck in the process of these students who have every class they need to take, over students who have a more limited class pool to choose from,” he said.
Student Trustee Simone Fraser didn’t agree as he pointed out that studies have shown that the Pathways programs helps students stay focused on the taking the classes they need and increases their chances of graduating on time.
“They desperately need those classes, they’re the students that need remediation,” he said.
After getting more clarification from other members on how Pathways works and the fact that there are specific classes that are somewhat tailored to the program, Hatfield withdrew his objection.
As the discussion went on, Fraser made a comment that he was not sure that it’s appropriate that AS executive board members should get enrollment priorities because they are already at an advantage as their position provides them with the help they need in regards to classes.
“We’re not special snowflakes,” he said.
President Orozco felt Fraser’s points were valid and had the same thoughts but he saw it more as an issue of equity as their positions require a certain GPA and unit minimum in addition to the work they do in office.
“I think we do above and beyond what a normal student should do, and I think we invest a lot of our hearts and minds into these meetings as well as into the school itself,” Orozco said.
While Eric Bustamante, vice president for Academic Affairs, also agreed with the concerns Fraser brought up, he views having priority enrollment as a way to be more effective as it would allow them to have a schedule that would give them the time they need to provide students with better service and representation.
“In reality we act as the liasons between students and adminstration and things that are happening in campus,” he said.
Auriana Duffy, vice president for Cultural Diversity, was glad that concerns about giving board members priority registration were brought up because she did not experience any of the perks other members described in dealing with registration.
“I don’t know what connections you guys have, but I have none,” she said.
In the end, members moved to approve support of the enrollment and class schedules priorities policy with recommended changes.