Class crashing policy should prioritize early birds

Illustration by Maria Salvador, May 7, 2014
Illustration by Maria Salvador, May 7, 2014

Almost all college students will find themselves needing a class that’s closed. That’s where crashing comes in handy. It’s not that sitting through an entire class until your number is called while other possible sessions are filling up isn’t entertaining, but there must be a better way to conduct the process of enrolling a student that’s not on the roster the first day.

Currently, there are multiple methods professors use to allow crashing students into their classes. Since there isn’t a uniform “crashing process” followed by all teachers, certain methods, such as giving preferential treatment to previous students over others, gives an unfair advantage to certain students.

There needs to be a uniform policy for crashing a class that all teachers need to consistently follow. There cannot be exceptions to the rule or the system becomes biased.

The most equitable and fair method to use when selecting which students to add would be to conduct a randomized lottery on the first day of class. Students who arrive prior to the start of the course wishing to add the class should be placed on a lottery list. No student arriving after the beginning time of the class should be allowed to participate in the lottery. This allows all students who arrive prior to the class to have an equal chance of enrollment.

This is the most reasonable and non-biased process because it leaves the ultimate decision up to chance. Dropping enrolled students that do not show up for the first day of class and giving no students preferential treatment should also be a rule that all teachers follow.

The school offers a list of tips and strategies on their website to enhance a student’s chances of successfully crashing a course, which includes sending email to the professor before the start of the semester, being professional and courteous, attending the first day of class and showing up early, turning in your add slip as soon as possible, looking for other options if there are no spots available for adding and planning early for next semester.

The only other options if crashing is unsuccessful are to attend the desired class at another time, at another campus or waiting until the next semester.

This procedure will only work if there is a uniform acceptance and adherence by all faculty as well as clear enforcement by school administration.