Justifying early registration for BU athletes


Registering for classes is a hassle for most.

Students meet weeks in advance with professors and advisors to try to determine a solid schedule for the upcoming semester. Lucky students reach their assigned registration date and are admitted into all the classes they intended to take.

Because of small class sizes, many students have to redesign their courses multiple times before solidifying a schedule. Freshman Hanna Throgmorton said she was really excited about her spring semester schedule, but things did not actualize the way she intended.

“I was definitely disappointed and stressed when I realized I had to totally reorganize my schedule right before my registration time,” Throgmorton said.

She wondered how almost every single one of her intended classes filled up before their registration even opened. For many, the registration process and priority system is a complete mystery.

What may be surprising is that athletes have the chance to register for classes before many other students. They receive immediate priority on all classes, specifically so they get into the time slot needed to fit their particular athletic schedule.

It is human nature to react negatively to unfortunate situations where one does not end up with the intended result. This response usually accompanies a lack of thought about why this is happening. Freshman Lauren Reineke said she was prone to jumping to conclusions about the registration process and athlete priority before really thinking about the reasoning.

“You forget that athletes are busier than the average student with games and practices constantly,” Reineke said. “Although their schedules restrict them a little bit more, it still is unfortunate for the rest of us to not be able to get into a class because we don’t have this privilege.”

Reineke represents what I would expect most students’ mindsets to be: acceptance but disappointment. Every student wants to have the class schedule they intended, but we must remember the schedule that Butler student-athletes have.

If “fair” is not the preferred word in this instance, then “understandable” should be. Non-athletes are not required to wake up and go to early morning workouts, be available for practices throughout the day or often leave many weekends for away games. Those not involved in collegiate sports have many more options when it comes to scheduling, even if it is not what they might consider “ideal.”

I am not claiming non-athletes are not busy because that is not true. These students make up a major portion of the other on-campus organizations, leadership teams, Greek houses and many other extracurricular activities. Fortunately, these organizations typically run with the members’ schedules in mind. No club or organization meets at a time when members would consistently miss.

Athletes are not as privileged to have their non-school activity be planned around their academic schedule. A major portion of their day includes required events for a set period of time.

Because of this, having first picks to classes at specific meeting times is incredibly helpful. They must be able to find the class they need at a time when they will not have practice or be forced to consistently miss because of games.

“Being able to schedule first is beneficial because I was able to pick the classes that worked best with my practice schedule,” said freshman tennis player Rachel Sutton. “Because I was lucky and got to go ahead of the rest of the students, I was guaranteed to have a schedule that fit with my crazy schedule.”

Athletes such as Sutton are fortunate to have this scheduling advantage, allowing a typically hectic portion of students’ lives to be a bit more relaxed.

So why is this even important to address? As the new semester gets underway, it is easy to be reminded of the scheduling issues you had. I am as guilty as the next person for complaining on my way to a class I did not intend to take this semester, but it is important to remember that student-athletes receive this perk for a reason.

A student-athlete’s typical day is not as flexible as the average student nor do they have the luxury of skipping games and practices without very convincing excuses.

So remember when the registration season begins for next fall’s semester to not moan and groan at the athletes because of their privilege.

Even though in this instance they may have it easier than you, in many other ways they have an incredibly challenging and taxing academic situation.