The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Unit caps make it difficult for students to add classes

Robert Gressis, philosophy department faculty, addresses his philosophy 150 class in Jerome Richfield Hall on Tuesday. Gressis said he has a waiting list of 42 students trying to add the two available spots in his class. Kat Russell / Daily Sundial

CSUN students are now facing the consequences of last semester’s decision to restrict student registration and lower the amount of available seats in classes to avoid a $7 million penalty from the CSU.

CSUN, which is only allowed to exceed full-time student enrollment by 3 percent, was operating at 6.3 percent over its capacity in the fall, said Vice Provost Cynthia Rawitch in an interview with the Sundial in November 2011.

If the same capacity level had been maintained, the multimillion dollar penalty would have been incurred. The new regulations, which came into effeect last semester, only allow undergraduate students to take a maximum of 15 units, and graduating seniors 19.

In an email sent to faculty on Tuesday, Interim President of CSUN, Harry Hellenbrand, said the beginning of the term will be especially challenging for both faculty and staff as students will try to add classes that have reached their cap limit or have been closed.

“I have absolutely no classes I need,” said Kyle Martinez, a sophomore majoring in public health education. “I’m even looking into community colleges because I have zero chances of adding anything.”

Sophomore Glenn Probst, pre-CTVA major, said he’s been e-mailing teachers non-stop for add codes but hasn’t received any replies.

“I ended up taking random history classes that don’t even count so I can keep my FAFSA [Free Application for Federal Student Aid],” Probst said. “But you got to keep hope alive.”

Kathleen McWilliams, CTVA undergraduate staff advisor, said students come into her office with no idea as to what classes they need to graduate. McWilliams said her department is still admitting new students, which is causing more confusion.

“Students are frustrated and it’s understandable,” McWilliams said. “But why don’t they voice their opinions and do something about it?”

Some students, however, took matters into their own hands, by holding a meeting Tuesday to discuss an appropriate response to the campus’ new policies regarding enrollment and unit caps.

“The message we want to send to him (Chancellor Reed) is the problem of the availability of classes, and to send a message to the governor and the legislature,” said Danny Santana-Hernandez, MEChA internal chair, who was present at the meeting. “The CSU system is underfunded.”

Also troubling students is the add process involving permission numbers. Professors are limited to a number of students they can add and seniors predominantly have priority.

Psychology professor Jonathon Schuldt said he is limited to a roster of 200 students and only has two spots available. He said he bases his add process on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“I have about 15 students e-mailing me with their sob stories,” Schuldt said. “But I only add the first few that email me regardless of school standing.”

Admissions and records has also noticed an influx of concerned students.

“By lunchtime, it gets pretty hectic,” said Nicolas Alexander, supervisor of Admissions and Records. “We get a lot of questions about add codes and how things work, even though that’s not our department’s responsibility.”

Additional reporting by Jessica Jewell

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