Choosing Classes Really Does Get Harder Every Year


Published: December 11, 2008

The first class registration is a rigorous, usually solitary process that initiates students into the complicated world of class availability at Fordham College at Lincoln Center. You learn through experience when you realize the class you wanted is closed or at the same time as another class—or even not available at all. In the following years, you will realize the frustration of trying to fulfill your class requirements with a limited number of classes to choose from. Registering for the semesters that follow only add to your disappointment.

Many students participate in activities or work part-time or work-study jobs in addition to balancing class workloads, and it would help to have a flexible schedule to work with. Greater availability of classes would make our schedules easier to balance with other activities.

This past semester, my class registration got in the way of my work and activities. One activity I have dedicated myself to since first semester of freshman year has been Peace Games, for which I go to an elementary school in Harlem once a week. This semester, however, I found it hard to balance my community service with my remaining core requirements. The only time slot I had available during the school’s hours was Wednesday morning before my 1 p.m. class, which conflicted. I had to give up Peace Games this semester.

The lack of class availability also brings up concerns about fulfilling major and minor requirements. Many of the interesting classes listed in the course bulletin are usually not offered. I recently had an advisor urge me to take a class because it might not be offered another semester. Is this really how things should be? After all, what kind of graduates is this institution producing when students have to compete against students coming from schools with more classes available? It is to Fordham’s advantage to offer a greater diversity of classes at a variety of times. It would put our tuition money to good use and lure more prospective students.

If Fordham wants to be an institution that serves its students, then Fordham should make sure students have a greater selection of classes, both those needed to complete the core and those needed for individual major requirements. I know it is impossible for every student to be satisfied, but adding more classes would decrease the number of students that complete each semester’s registration dissatisfied. With the amount of money students and their parents invest in the school, Fordham should give students what would truly benefit them. Fordham can begin by hiring more professors and making more classes available, regardless of whether or not they fill up with students. It is better to have more classes with fewer students than fewer classes with more students. That way, students can learn about subjects that interest them and have more flexible schedules. Not only will it improve the university’s image for current and prospective students, but it will also ensure that Fordham’s graduates are entering the workforce and graduate schools with the same level of academic enrichment as their competitors.