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Faculty Senate continues debate over change to drop/add deadline

By : Sarah Lifshin

The University Faculty Senate this week continued debate over a change to the drop/add deadline that could potentially move the dates up from the current ninth week of the semester.

During their Tuesday meeting, senators replaced an original motion for a resolution with one that would have set the 25th day of classes or fifth week as the drop deadline; the second week would remain the deadline for additions. Students would receive a W or withdrawl if they drop a course through the ninth week, which would serve as the final deadline. A student could not receive a W after the ninth week unless they petition their school because of particular circumstances.

The senate is also discussing an amendment that would allow departments to determine their own deadlines. The debate over the change has been heated since the proposal to change the deadline was first introduced last spring. Senators have voiced both support and concern toward the changes. Some who have supported the change said that the later drops disrupt classes, while others argued that students need the freedom to experiment with their courses.

The current Harpur College drop policy allows students to drop full semester classes on or before the fifth class day after the midpoint of the semester. This fall that date is Thursday, October 30.

When courses are dropped before the deadline, they are removed from the official transcript. In order to drop a class after the drop deadline, a student must petition and demonstrate extraordinary circumstances. Approved petitions result in a W or withdrawn being placed next to the course. Harpur College Council previously debated the change in 1991 and 1996. Research has shown that during the 1996 semester, 3,000 drops occurred between the add and drop deadline and that during fall 2001, 3,500 drops occurred. The issue has been a topic of debate among the senators since last May, when the resolution was first proposed. The senate will again address the issue at its meeting at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, October 28, in UU-133.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08