For the course drop and add period this semester, the Registrar under the Office of Faculty and Academic Affairs announced they would be monitoring various student communities and online boards for posts pertaining to the selling and transfer of courses.
“We ask for students’ cooperation to not participate in the sale and transfer of courses which, as students, is inappropriate,” stated the announcement.
Posted on the notice board of the school homepage, the announcement indicated should any sale and transfer posts be uploaded, the post will be removed. Such posts of sale and transfer of courses can be commonly seen, and has become an everyday act for students looking for their desired courses. In addition, the school also warned if such acts of purchasing can be verified, the student will be removed from the register of the course.
“Most times, the students do not know that their actions are wrong,” said the Registrar. “Rather than penalizing the student directly, the school contacts the student, alert them that it is wrong, and to remove the post.” The school also commented that a student had been punished for continuously making sales many years ago.
The monitoring was first introduced in 2014 as a response to consistent inconveniences voiced by students regarding course registration. Students would often find themselves out of choices with a limited number of courses for their desired time slot and with those quickly filling up leaving them with no seats.
However, the problem does not end at the sign-up process and extends into the drop and add period, as students struggle to succeed in signing up for their desired course. Students constantly look for empty seats and as a last resort, ask on student community boards for people to swap, give, or sell seats. In regards to such acts, the Registrar defines all swapping, receiving, and purchasing seats as sale and transfer of courses and thus, illegal. Instead, the school suggests to directly ask the professor to increase the number of seats available.
“I don’t think the school understands the main cause of the problem,” commented an anonymous student. “Students don’t want to buy courses from other students just to take the class they desire, but they don’t have a choice. Classes are full to the brim and we are unable to register, so students resort to putting extra incentives for people who are willing to pass on seats to contact them directly.”
Though most agree with the comment, many are relieved that the school is responding to such a continuous yet complex problem. Nevertheless, the solution suggested by the school, asking for an increase in seats, is still facing questions of its effectiveness.
“For this semester, I have felt that there were more cases where extra seats were opened,” said Ahn Yoo-jung, a Division of International Studies student. “But since I am a junior and take more major-related courses, it might be different for those seeking seats in non-major courses.”
The main cause of sale of courses is, in fact, acknowledged by the school, and the office is cooperating with other offices in order to solve it. The monitoring of students is a supplementary measure mainly to point out the wrongs in their acts of selling and prevent any issues that might arise from the informal transfer between students.
“We know that these sales and transfer of seats in courses occur mainly with popular courses and professors,” said the Registrar. “However, it is a complex problem to solve, where the entire Office of Faculty and Academic Affairs have to be involved. Until we can alleviate the situation, we are pointing out the immorality of making such sales and protect students.”