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UCLA extends class drop deadline to week nine for winter quarter

UCLA is allowing students to drop impacted classes through week nine without fee or transcript notation to accommodate for unforeseen circumstances. (Jeremy Chen/Daily Bruin staff)

By Shaanth Kodialam

Feb. 15, 2022 12:31 a.m.

Faculty and student leaders expressed optimism after UCLA announced that students can drop classes until week nine without fee or transcript notation.

The new policy in place for the winter quarter allows students to drop both impacted and nonimpacted classes much later into the quarter than previously allowed. The policy was previously in effect for the spring 2020 quarter.

Impacted classes are courses that do not have enough seats available to meet student demand. In the past, students were unable to drop an impacted class after Friday of week two unless there were extenuating circumstances, according to the UCLA registrar.

Corey Hollis, the assistant dean of undergraduate academic support, said in an emailed statement that the change in the deadline to drop a class is temporary to accommodate extraordinary and unforeseen circumstances.

“Given the changes that the winter quarter has imposed upon us with omicron, and the stress and difficulty of transitioning from remote to in-person mid-quarter, we felt that students would feel better knowing that they had the option to drop classes if they felt it was necessary with minimal barriers to doing so,” Hollis said.

Hollis added that the university may also consider these temporary changes in the future if the circumstances arise.

Angelina Quint, the Academic Affairs commissioner at the Undergraduate Students Association Council, said many students wanted an extended drop date because of their professors’ unwillingness to provide hybrid learning options as the university shifted to in-person instruction.

She added that many students who dropped impacted classes after Friday of week two usually had to file petitions and receive a transcript notation, which costs money to process and file.

Quint said her office has been voicing student concerns about this quarter amid the transition back to in-person learning.

“I’ve gotten a lot of students coming to me – disabled students, immunocompromised students, parenting students, commuter students – who have expressed a lot of concerns about the very challenging and difficult times that they’re facing,” Quint said. “It’s been a very tumultuous quarter for a lot of students and I think the counseling department and the Academic Senate have sort of recognized that.”

Lily Tamai, a lecturer in the Asian American studies department, said the extended deadline does not affect her ability to teach, although it may require her to fill out administrative forms.

She said the policy is beneficial for students with challenging circumstances, adding that she prioritizes supporting these students.

“Why would you do nine weeks of material and then drop (a class)?” Tamai said. “That is not a reflection of a student who is experiencing a successful career. … It’s not about them and their performance, it just happens to be whatever their circumstances are.”

Tamai said she hopes to see students’ needs being centered when considering if this extended drop date should be enacted for future quarters. However, she said she does not sit on the Academic Senate or faculty governance committees, so she cannot vote on the decision.

Tamai added that teaching Asian American Studies 20W, an impacted class, has shown her the power of student involvement in achieving administrative changes.

“It does seem like when students are enrolling for impacted classes – and it just feels like they’re never (going to) get in – there are ways for students to be able to advocate and see that there are more chances to take courses like this,” Tamai said.

Quint said allowing students to drop classes that are not accommodating would be beneficial for student retention and graduation.

“It really is just as simple as a vote, and it could change the whole trajectory of a student’s academic career where they will be able to be met with less institutional barriers and have greater access,” Quint said.

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Shaanth Kodialam | News senior staff
Kodialam is a News senior staff reporter for the Bruin. They were previously the 2022-2023 features and student life editor and a 2021-2022 News reporter for national news and higher education and features and student life. They are a third-year communication and geography student.
Kodialam is a News senior staff reporter for the Bruin. They were previously the 2022-2023 features and student life editor and a 2021-2022 News reporter for national news and higher education and features and student life. They are a third-year communication and geography student.
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