Waitlists and the Dean’s promise

Today is January 17th. Did you know it’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the U.S.?

For us U of T students, today is the day the waitlist drops and it’s an all out dog eat dog world where you duke it out for a spot in the course of your choice.

Well, maybe not so bad, but you get what I mean. From now until January 23rd, it’s checking ROSI as often as you can hoping the course that you want has a free space. I wish I had a magical trick for you where you’ll get into the course you want, dear readers, I really do, but alas.

Though, one thing I did last year for a psych course I wanted was ask the class if anyone planned on dropping, then made an appointment with that person in the dead of the night where we were over the phone and I listened to her drop the course and I nabbed it the second after.

That is the closest thing to a foolproof way of enrollment that I know. Even Kelly Jay, Associate Registrar, Student Affairs at Arts & Science, said that all you can really do is check ROSI like an obsessive fiend.

So I asked her: why can’t she just raise the cap? Start another session?

As you can guess, it’s the usual suspects: not enough funds, difficulty finding profs/TAs, room capacity and overfilling a room being a fire hazard, etc. However, the one really interesting thing she told me was that there is one possible way to raise the cap on the wait list.

Talk to your department. That’s right. Only your department can request a cap raise or request an additional session.

The only reason I don’t have to deal with waiting lists this semester is because the psychology department saw that there were almost twice as many people on the wait list for the class I wanted as there were spaces, so they added an additional session.

So talk to your department. Let them know that there’s a need. Get your fellow wait-listed students to do the same. Maybe the department will be able to help.

If all else fails, and you’re in the situation where you need a course to graduate, it’s time to invoke the Dean’s Promise. The Dean promises that you can enroll in the courses you need to graduate if you “have enrolled in appropriate programs, completed appropriate prerequisites, and requested courses from a full range of the possible options that would allow them to complete their program and degree”.

Sound like you? Go talk to your Registrar or Kelly directly. I’ve heard people say that the Dean’s Promise is defunct. Nope, busted. It’s alive and kicking.

Good luck everybody! Let me know how it goes!

- Cynthia