Illustration: Alanna Rizza

What to do when your mandatory classes are full

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By Sherina Harris

It’s a feeling Ryerson students know all too well; sitting in front of a bright laptop screen at 6 a.m., watching a grey circle spin in the corner of their web browser. Many students have compared Ryerson’s course selection process to the Hunger Games—but some are finding that the odds are not in their favour. When it comes to enrolling in mandatory courses, some students aren’t able to get in, either due to small class sizes, not doing course intentions or seemingly, just plain bad luck.

Last year, then second-year creative industries student Lauren Stasyna selected two art history courses in her course intentions that were mandatory for her module in curatorial practices. When she got her schedule, the courses weren’t on it. Knowing a few other students were having the same problem, she emailed her course advisors, who told her it was too late to fix her schedule.

“We need to [take] these,” she told her advisors. “If we don’t get these classes, we have to take a fifth year to graduate.”

She was told she should have woken up earlier. “I’m like, ‘What? These are required courses. Why can’t I get into them?’”

This year, Stasyna added the courses to her course intentions again, and was enrolled in them.

“I did literally nothing different,” she said.

Not being able to enroll in a mandatory course doesn’t just cause stress at the thought of needing to take a fifth year to graduate. Third-year global management studies student Eduardo Rodríguez found it caused financial stress as well. Changing the number of courses he would be taking could jeopardize his OSAP loans when he had already applied with a certain number of courses. If he changed the number of courses he had initially said he was going to take, he might not get the loan.

Rodríguez was waitlisted for an elective from a mandatory table. Although the course was meant to be taken in third or fourth year, he had room in his schedule to take it in his second year.

Rodríguez left his position on the waitlist and enrolled in a course he knew he would get in, to ensure he got his loans.

He was able to take the course in his third year, but thinks he would have had a higher GPA and more confidence if he had taken the course in second year.

For students who find themselves in the same boat, Rodríguez recommends bookmarking RAMSS and checking it often. “There’s always someone that drops, especially in the first week once classes start,” he said. “I’d advise, email the professor or go to their class and ask them. The worst they can say is no.”

Stasyna emailed her professors and program advisors, but still had no luck.

“Sometimes nothing can be done, and I think with that you just have to plan your courses and just take them as you’re taking them and plan for next year,” she said.

She also recommended talking to other people in your program if they’re having similar issues.

“You would think if a few people complain, maybe the system is the problem,” she said.

 

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