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What if I just wanted to learn?

| Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Overall, I believe during their time here, most students at Notre Dame want to learn, realize the amazing resources at their disposal and take advantage of at least some of those opportunities.

That being said, I question whether the registrar’s office — and sometimes, our advisors — realize that not all people here are content with merely going through the motions of college, picking up credits for their transcripts and focusing on graduating.
The University’s Academic Code allows only graduate students to audit classes, the completion of which would earn them a grade of ‘V.’ Undergraduates may not audit classes.

Hypothetically, though, what if I was not interested in auditing a class per se, since auditing still shows up on permanent academic records? What if I were suggesting instead to simply sit in a class — with the professor’s blessing, of course — with no permanent records to be found?

Well, that is not allowed either.

I know what you are thinking. Why not just register for the class in the beginning? Do we not have enough on our plates already?
As for registering, popular classes often fill before the registration deadline. Sometimes, spots open up when people drop, but red tape exists for those of us trying to register for these spots post-deadline. I guess deadlines are non-negotiable after all.
As for dealing with too much work already, should we not encourage those really wanting to learn something in addition to their required classes to explore? We have access to these wonderful professors for only four years. Moreover, if people really want to spend an extra three hours in class and six studying every week, more power to them.

So what is the big deal? It certainly cannot be tuition, given our flat — and fat — tuition bill. Credits? Nope, we will not be getting those. Paperwork? Not on the administrative side. Trouble for professors? Oh please, professors becoming offended at interest in their life’s work?

If driven students want to sit in a class out of interest, and the professor does not object, the registrar’s office should leave them to their own devices.

Kristina Flathers
Lewis Hall
Feb. 9


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