University athletes register earlier than nonathletes to fit classes with practice schedules

Caroline Cummings

This semester, student athletes registered for classes on April 22, on the first day of the official registration period.

Student athletes register before nonathletes so they can select classes that fit with their training and game schedules.

Biology sophomore Samantha Shulhan runs track for UT and said she thinks it is fair for athletes to register before other students because of the sacrifice and dedication athletes make for sports at the University.

“We spend about 20 hours a week towards our sport on top of doing 12–15 hours of classes,” Shulhan said. “With all the extra time commitments that being an athlete encompasses, it is vital that our class schedule allows us to balance all of those things … Without early registration, we could be forced to either miss practices on a weekly/daily basis or wait on taking the class when it becomes available at a different time.”

Environmental engineering freshman Julia van Witzenburg rows for UT and said the early registration time is necessary because of the limited time window athletes have to go to class during the week.

“With rowing, we don’t get back from practice until around 9:15, so the earliest we could have class … is 9:30,” van Witzenburg said. “I believe that it’s fair that athletes get priority registration because if they didn’t, it would be almost impossible to get classes that fit with their practice and race schedules … It has allowed me to balance my academics and athletics better.”

Donise Tran, neuroscience and linguistics freshman, said she thinks athletes deserve the privilege to a certain extent. 

“It makes sense,” Tran said. “(Athletes) put in a lot of time and effort into our school’s image and spirit, and it’s important for them to secure an academic schedule that allows them to continue playing sports for our school … (However), athletes aren’t the only ones spending a huge chunk of time doing extracurriculars and have to work their schedules around things.”

Tran said she’s heard of people unable to take classes, such as American Sign Language, because they fill up quickly. She thinks students with early registration, like student athletes, may prohibit other students from getting their desired classes.

“Everyone should have the opportunity to learn (ASL),” Tran said. “I just hope that everyone that truly needs it for their career is still able to get into the course.”