Should Student Athletes get Priority in Class Scheduling


Student athletes looking at registered classes for next semester

Should Student-Athletes Get Priority Class Scheduling?
Amanda Walsh

Before you stop reading, PLEASE hear me out. This is probably my most controversial piece of the year, seeing as the uproar this topic has caused on Yik Yak. If you aren’t familiar with the issue, there have been talks of some people lobbying for student-athletes to receive some form of priority scheduling for classes. This has caused some strong voices to emerge, with many students expressing disgust at the idea.

As a student-athlete, of course I would love to “skip the line” and choose all my classes without the worry of them filling up. BUT, I also know that would be unfair to the rest of the students. From what I’ve heard (and how I personally feel) I think the main motivation for some athletes wanting priority scheduling simply comes down to practice times. Contrary to some of the Yik Yak comments I’ve seen, we as student-athletes DO NOT think we are better than students not on sports teams. At the end of the day, we are members of teams, and we want/have practices to attend. Of course, school comes first, and I’ve witnessed teammates miss practices weekly because they have a class to attend. As a member of the cross country and track and field teams, it is a bit easier for us to get a solo practice in. But I imagine it is a lot harder for the lacrosse team to get effective practice if their goalie is in class.

Here’s what I propose: I think there should be a system in place on the self-service for student-athletes to apply for classes early, ONLY ones that interfere with their practice times (that in my fantasy here, would be entered into the system by the coaches). What I mean by this is, if there is a class in a student-athletes major, minor, or core concentration that is offered limitedly (with there being a conflict with practice) they should be able to apply to be put in that section. Then, the scheduling folks on the other end can review the applications, and potentially place students in the section before the application opens for the rest of the students.
Now, this is just an idea, and I don’t think it would impact most people’s chances of getting into the class/section they want. Of course, if a class is only offered during practice time, then practice may need to take a back seat (and the application process I just outlined would not apply). I think I speak for most athletes when I say, we don’t want to make our schedules easy or perfect, we just want them to be possible. And let me reiterate, we don’t think we’re better than anyone or deserve super special treatment. At the end of the day, we all just want to receive an education to set ourselves up for success.