Tele-BEARS Changes Cap Phase II Sign-Ups

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Drawing mixed reactions from the campus, administrators announced changes to Tele-BEARS this week, capping the number of units students are allowed to enroll in during Phase II.

In an e-mail sent to the student body Wednesday, Vice Provost Christina Maslach stated that students cannot sign up for more than 19 units during Phase II. Furthermore, a student already enrolled in 16 units during Phase II cannot add any more units.

"Everyone on campus was looking for multiple ways to deal with the budget crisis ... We're using the principles from Phase I to even out the playing field so that everybody gets to have equal access to getting into classes," she said.

The change is only a trial run and will be effective in July. Additionally, Maslach said the campus will be drastically restructuring the class registration system in 2012.

The Council of Undergraduate Deans approved the current change, arguing that many students were not able to enroll in the minimum amount of units under the old system, due to over-enrollment by other students, Maslach said.

"(We) don't have as much money to pay for GSIs, so there were several suggestions generated with the Registrar's Office to see if anything could be tweaked that might help in terms of making it a fair process," she said.

But many students find the change to be a great inconvenience.

"It will just make it difficult for people who need to take a lot of units," said sophomore Taylor Schooley.

According to Marcin Majda, associate dean for undergraduate affairs in the college of chemistry, the modification will make students more responsible and prevent them from over-enrolling in excessive numbers of classes.

"(During the first two weeks) many students drop because they shop around and can't make up their minds," Majda said. "You can't be a Macy's shopper-you have to make a responsible decision."

UC Berkeley is not the only campus to attempt such a change. A year ago, UC Santa Cruz implemented a similar system, capping the courseload students could sign up for during the second phase of enrollment to 19 credits, said Stacey Sketo-Rosener, coordinator of academic advising at the campus.

Initially, not all deans agreed to the Tele-BEARS modification. Dennis Lieu, associate dean of the college of engineering, approved the change only because it will be re-evaluated after its one semester trial period.

"An engineering student who can't get into Math 1 can get their schedule backwards because courses are dependent on each other, which can lead to delayed graduation," Lieu said.

Darren Zook, professor of political science, said there are more constructive approaches than what he says is a further complication of Tele-BEARS.

"It curtails the freedom of students wanting to take the amount of classes they want. It limits courses to majors first," Zook said.


Contact Melani Sutedja at [email protected]

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