Students protest new drop-add policy

Oct. 10, 2013 @ 05:14 PM

Under overcast skies and a steady rain, about 20 students huddled in front of the UNC system’s administration building Thursday to protest a new drop-add policy that students complain stifles intellectualism.
The students, many of them members of progressive student groups on the UNC campus, also complained about a UNC Board of Governor’s policy prohibiting universities in the state’s 17-campus system from adopting policies that allow students of the opposite sex from sharing suites and apartments.
“The Board of Governors has been consistently stepping in and micromanaging,” said Kate Davis Jones, a UNC senior and member of UNC Students for a Democratic Society.  “It’s frustrating for me to witness that. It’s so controlling and disregards people who are there [on campus] living it every day.”
The new drop/add policy, adopted by the board in April, shortens the period for students to drop or add a course from eight weeks to 10 days.
Courses dropped after the 10th day is considered a withdrawal and will appear as such on a student’s transcript.
Jones said the policy discourages students from attempting rigorous courses.
Before, she said students could sign up for such courses and drop them if they did not go well.
“With this new approach, students won’t be able to do that,” Jones said.
The Daily Tar Heel reported earlier this week that 5,000 UNC students, faculty and alumni signed an online petition against the new drop-add period during a 24-hour period.
However, supporters of the drop-add policy said it will shorten the time to obtaining a degree by making the process more efficient.
Meanwhile, students who support UNC’s gender non-specific housing policy were critical of the board’s decision to pre-empt the policy, which was unanimously approved by the school’s Board of Trustees.
Supporters of the UNC policy say the housing option provides students who are sometimes teased or even assaulted because of their sexual preference or gender identify a safe place to live on campus.
“We’re trying to show the Board of Governors that we still care about his issue,” said Kevin Claybren, was the student coordinator of the Gender Non-Specific Housing Coalition.
Claybren said the Board of Governors did not take in account student voices in making decisions about gender non-specific housing and the system’s new drop-add policy.