Should athletes have priority registration?

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With midterms right behind us and spring registration just around the corner, California Lutheran University students are already peering into spring semester before the fall is even over.

Registration in particular puts pressure on students to master the balancing act between school, work, athletics and other activities. At most public universities, athletes get priority registration, seeing as their schedules are presumably busier than the average student’s would be. At Cal Lutheran though, athletes are put into the same registration schedule as everyone else, causing them extra hardships.

“It’s hard to get classes that work with our practice schedules, it’s just another obstacle to get past in order to graduate,” said Alex Wardle, a senior soccer player at Cal Lutheran.

Wardle, who has a job at Play It Again Sports, said about 75 percent of his teammates also have jobs on top of school and athletics.

Wardle explained that the soccer team practices every night and once a week in the morning.

“During the off season we have spring lifting from 3p.m.-4p.m. Class times really conflict with practice during that time,” Wardle said. “There have been so many times that I couldn’t take a class that I needed because I have practice and the other class times were already full… being able to register first would definitely help.”

While some may argue that it would be unfair for athletes to register before other students, I don’t think they are taking into consideration the amount of time that student athletes are required to dedicate. On top of that, the sports teams are a huge way of bringing revenue into the school through game tickets, concessions, fundraisers and such. Therefore, it would be fair to give athletes extra time to figure their schedules out and sign up for classes at times that they are available.

Connor Allen, a junior on the Cal Lutheran football team, said he was surprised to hear that Cal Lutheran student athletes registered at the same time as everyone else.

“At Hancock I had my own athletic counselor and all athletes had priority registration,” said Allen, who transferred from Hancock College.

Although having athletic counselors may be a step too far for a small school like Cal Lutheran, priority registration seems like it would be an obvious move, considering the schedules athletes are expected to uphold.

Kelly Morro, who plays for the women’s soccer team said while she tries to schedule her classes around practice times, it’s not always a realistic goal.

“I have to miss practice every Monday, for example, because I have to take a class that I need to graduate,” Morro said.

Morro, like Wardle, added that even when her team is not in season, they still participate in mandatory workouts.

It seems like a realistic request that athletes be given time to register before other students.

While every student has their hobbies and needs, a student participating in Cal Lutheran athletics should feel confident that they have the opportunity to be successful on the field and in the classroom.

 

Rachael Maurer

Published November 12, 2014