Students registering for classes on SOLAR often find themselves being locked out of required courses at the last minute. (PHOTO CREDIT: STONYBROOK.EDU/SOLAR)

As the fall semester comes to a close, that wonderful time of the year is coming to campus once again: Enrollment time. And I must say, there is nothing quite like the joy of sitting by your computer, refreshing your SOLAR account to make sure all your classes are still open only to have one close a minute before your registered enrollment time. This is a tragic moment where you will consider throwing your computer across the room and rage quitting the thought of even registering for spring semester classes. But do not do that. The sad truth of the situation, though, is that getting closed out of classes is not uncommon. In fact, most Stony Brook students are finding their required classes being filled, and the students are being left in the dust.

To most students, getting blocked from a D.E.C class is mere inconvenience, but getting blocked from a lab or a math course that is a requirement for their major is when real problems come into play. If the class you need to take is full, you will be placed on a waitlist for the course. If seats open up or if more seats are added, they will empty as much of the waitlist as they can and allow more students in. But is there any way to guarantee a seat in the class? No. If you get pulled off the waitlist your troubles are gone, but if the class remains closed there are no other alternative options for students to take. You will either get into the class you need or it sucks to suck.

Cindy Marji, a freshman biomedical engineering major, is still unable to get into her required classes. “I emailed the undergraduate coordinator about my AMS and WRT class. She didn’t address all the questions I asked her but told me to contact the math department. I need math to be on track, but all she said was that I would have to wait until they emptied the waitlist. So now I’m back to square one.”

I think it is fair to say that many of the students at Stony Brook are majoring in one of the STEM fields, so what I do not understand is why the school does not accommodate the amount of classes needed for these majors considering the overwhelming amount of students trying to sign up for them. When one of my journalism classes for the spring semester became filled, all it took was a few days and a couple dozen emails from nervous students for them to add a new class on SOLAR to sign up for. It was that simple. And yet there are kids calling advisers, emailing deans, scraping to put their schedule together only to continuously find that there is still no space for them in class. Students get off track and there is nothing the school can offer to help.


I understand that it is impossible to fit all students into their desired classes, but I do not believe that an acceptable excuse for why students are finding themselves set back one or two semesters is that the school just could not make it work. I mean, the only thing at stake is graduating on time. Why would anybody be concerned about that?

Emily Benson

Emily is a senior journalism major and business minor. She has been a member of The Statesman since her freshman year, an intern at a NPR member station, WSHU, and worked on the editorial board of the Albany newspaper, The Times Union. She was born and raised in the farm lands of upstate New York, and enjoys apple picking, long boarding, hiking, eating, breathing and sitting. Contact Emily at: [email protected]


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