In a surprise announcement last Wednesday, a handful of Montclair State University students lost their priority registration. Some students didn’t even get the chance to find the statement in their email. They found out through the front page of The Montclarion instead.
Montclair State is changing its policy to give students a fair chance at registering for classes. In theory, this idea doesn’t sound completely horrible, but it does have a few flaws.
Montclair State did not disclose exactly which groups are not receiving priority registration anymore to The Montclarion.
Comments on The Montclarion’s Instagram post, such as, “majority of the Presidential Scholars have found out through the newspaper and we are not happy,” and another saying to impeach President Jonathan Koppell made it clear that many students are irritated with the administration’s decision.
To make matters worse, the university didn’t even give students a heads up the previous year or over the summer as they made the announcement weeks before registering for spring 2023 classes.
This whole ordeal may not seem like such a big deal to those who never had priority registration, but it is quite a disappointment for those who have. For example, the Montclair State presidential scholars.
By Montclair State‘s own definition, “Montclair State offers merit-based Presidential Scholarships for high achieving incoming first-year students. Presidential Scholarships are highly competitive and awarded based on your academic achievement in high school.”
The presidential scholars are some of the most hardworking academics at this school who put time and effort into their education.
You would think Montclair State would still want to accommodate these students and reward them for proving themselves to be great students, but sadly, Montclair State stripped them of one of their best assets.
It’s not as simple as just taking away one of their benefits. Some presidential scholars have chosen to go to Montclair State instead of another school because of advantages like priority registration. Their decision was based on the promises given to them by Montclair State and now the university is taking it away just like that.
Not all hardworking academics were deprived of priority registration. Unlike presidential scholars, students in the honors program may still enjoy their benefits.
The honors program requires a separate application when applying to Montclair State, taking extra classes and having impressive academic achievements such as getting 1250 on the SAT.
Both presidential scholars and students in the honors program have remarkable feats in the academic world, so why take away one’s perk and not the other?
Student-athletes are also still able to sign up for the classes they want due to their need to be at practices and games. However, athletes are not more important than academics. Both should be treated as equal as they are both essential to Montclair State’s student body.
We, The Montclarion, ask Montclair State’s administration to rethink their abrupt decision and to commit to the promise they made to presidential scholars when they decided to attend this university.
Instead of taking away priority registration effective immediately, wait to implement it on next year’s incoming freshmen. By doing this, all the current students will get their promises fulfilled until their academic career at Montclair State is finished.
If you want to change the policy, that’s fine, just don’t punish your current students in doing so.