By: Humza Siddique and Maida Tahir
“We give importance to the individuals instead of the system!” were the words of Mr. Nauman Baig, Enrollment Coordinator at the School of Science and Engineering.
Though Mr. Baig’s opinion was echoed by other enrollment officers on campus, students express concern over constricting choices in course enrolment. “It’s been three semesters and now I’m convinced that I won’t get Game Theory,” said Muhammad Haris’ 20.
Students exploring different disciplines aim to enroll in outgroups and free electives of their choice. This, however, proves to be a tough bargain for SDSB and HSS students.
“Our first priority is to ensure students of our school get all their courses. After the reserved seats for repeating students are filled, Phase 2 and Add-Drop is the only viable option for non-SDSB students,” said Ms. Fatima Khalid, from the Office of Undergraduate Student Advising, at the Business school. For an outgroup course enrolment, a student’s respective department has to forward a request to the other school for the course specified. However, it continues to be a problem. “Do not approach the instructor or coordinator directly. You will not be entertained!” said Ms. Khalid. Otherwise, “Add-drop mein ghaplay hotay hain aur course nahi milta!” laughed Ms. Khalid.
However, Ms. Eliya Mohsin, Officer at the Gurmani School of Humanities, had a different point of view on the matter of outgroups. “The Management Science Major’s elective courses are cross-listed with economics courses. HSS department’s consent was not taken for this.” said Mohsin. “Economics courses are loaded, so if you get them, good for you, otherwise there isn’t much we can do!”
According to Ms. Khalid, students with genuine cases are always catered to. “I will try my best to help you get the course, provided you have a genuine case.” In contrast, Ms. Mohsin’s focus is to simply “guide students toward the options available”.
This difference in views occurs again in the talk of level restrictions on juniors of other schools. They are not able to enroll in basic humanities courses. Ms. Mohsin reasons that high-level courses indicate rigour, even without the “minor” label.
“Take higher level courses with no prerequisites. In-depth knowledge is looked at in job application.” said Ms. Mohsin. She also mentioned low aggregate performance in 100 level courses due to enrolment of non-serious students. “Instructors just do not want uncommitted juniors and seniors who cause disruptions in class.”
Ms. Khalid, when asked about this enrolment restriction, gave a different response to The Post:
“I don’t know why students can’t take 100 level courses. SDSB does not follow any such policy.”
SSE coordinator, Mr. Baig, also shared his thoughts regarding inter-school enrolment. His observation was that students from SSE found it easier to enroll in SDSB courses due to the absence of level restrictions unlike HSS. In SSE, students looking to pursue an econ math major, a degree offered by both schools, have found it difficult to enroll in principle level economics courses. According to Mr. Baig, the coordinator of SSE, they aim to accommodate students from all schools to the best of their ability, unless the course demand exceeds the physical capacities of the laboratories and classrooms. On the other hand, when asked about how often SSE students themselves face issues with courses, he stated:
“Our students barely have any free electives outside the SSE cores as it is, and if the ones they do have do not fulfill their requirements, it’s just very unfair to them.”
Perhaps, the common theme among every coordinator’s view is their preference for students of their own school. On this, Ms. Mohsin and Ms. Khalid hold that students from another school are often last priority, if a priority at all. “We are not required to assist students with the completion of their minors. Majors are our only priority,” said Umar Brar of SDSB, when asked about his policy on helping students of varied majors fulfill their outgroup requirements with business school courses.
Ms. Khalid hoped that the situation will improve due to increasing attention on inter-school coordination. A meeting with the Deans was held on Friday, 11th October to discuss and fill in the communication gaps between different departments. Faculty have been assigned an advisory role regarding inter-school communications.
“In our attempts to please the administration and faculty, we forget who we are here to facilitate; the students.” said Mr. Baig.
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