We’ve all had the phone call from our respective mothers, fathers or someone else with supervising status. Have you registered for classes yet? Why not? When are you going to?

Surely these motivating phone calls will move many students to register for classes on time. But there are a few who are superb at satisfying their parental figures with legitimate reasons as to why they have failed to find the enrollment office. There are others, like myself, whose mothers have lost all faith in their ability to do anything in a timely fashion and have given up on those phone calls.

Spring enrollment is now open for all current USM students, but students who choose tardiness over timeliness will continue to procrastinate over the two remaining months until the start of spring semester.

“I planned on registering today or maybe tomorrow . if I can find my RAN number,” said Tom Stevenson, a junior history major who admitted he’s muttered those same words many times over the last two weeks.

According to Steve Rand, registrar and only remaining USM employee with a one-word job title, typically a little more than 5,000 students register in the first two weeks after spring enrollment is opened on November 1st. This is a majority of the 10,000 students that Rand expects will register by the time enrollment is closed in the spring. The remainder of students will register over the next two months before spring classes start. There are about 500, however, who choose to register during the two-week period after the start of classes. These two weeks are well known throughout both campuses as the add/drop period.

“They have add/drop for a reason,” says Stevenson, “and I like it.”

According to Rand, it is during the add/drop period that students can sign up for classes without the signature of an adviser or a RAN number which is provided by one’s adviser and can be used to register on line or over the phone.

“At that point we’ve just got to get them registered,” said Rand. “Registering for classes late doesn’t create a problem for us. It creates a problem for the students.”

Stevenson and other students, however, do not see a problem with playing the “add/drop” game as it is commonly called.

“I’ve had a 100 percent success rate,” says Harry Wright, a junior history major, “I’ve been declined only once but still got into the same class at a different time.”

Wright, a member of the Student Senate and chair of the Public Relations Committee, has created his own sure-fire method of getting all the classes he needs while still allowing himself to sit back and watch other students rush to the enrollment offices to register on time.

“It’s an independent learning process,” he said.

According to Wright, he will stumble across the course catalog during the first week of school. After finding the classes that best suit his schedule, he will sit in on the desired classes. Upon entering the class, the mastermind is on his toes, because regardless of the class size or University policy, it is up to the professor to decide if a student shall be admitted to the class.

“Don’t just walk in and say I don’t have the class,” says Wright, “You work the angles, get in there, sit in the front row, ask after class, and ‘bam!’ you’ve got it. Participation is key.”

Wright admitted that when class roll is called at the beginning of class, it can be a little nerve-wracking, especially when the Professor finishes calling roll and then informs you that the class is full. But a true competitor in the “add/drop” game is not really scared by such threats.

“Even if the class is full, I’ll still sit in the class,” said Wright who recalled a time that he was denied a class at first. But after his vigorous participation and attention, the professor allowed him to add the class if he agreed to continue with such enthusiasm throughout the semester.

In Wright’s two years here at USM, the “add/drop” game has worked for him. Now aware that there are other students out there like himself, he will continue to strive for greatness while avoiding the University’s efforts to provide advisers and attempt to teach preparation to those who don’t understand it.

“We don’t follow the traditional path of education, we create (our own),” said Wright, “It’s a beautiful thing.”

Staff Writer Tyler Stanley can be contacted at [email protected]


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