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As Brown students await fall 2020 decision, class pre-registration postponed

Pre-registration postponed for second time to August, current registration system will be updated

The University announced on Wednesday that pre-registration for Fall 2020 for both undergraduates and graduate students has been postponed to early August, allowing students to register after President Christina Paxson P'19 has made a decision about how the next academic year will move forward. The twice postponed registration period had been scheduled for June 15-20. 

The University is still considering three different scenarios for the next academic year, including a completely remote fall, a typical on-campus semester, or a three-semester school year with shorter Fall, Spring and Summer sessions.

The Herald previously reported that Paxson would announce the decision in an email “no later than July 15.”

In all three scenarios for next fall, classes would resume in September either online, in-person or in some combination. Consequently, students will have around a month between pre-registration and the beginning of classes — less time than the usual six months that students have during regular academic years.

This marks the second time that pre-registration has been delayed since the University transitioned to remote learning in March. Pre-registration for the fall semester is usually scheduled to take place in mid-April. 

Offerings for both Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 will be removed from the website on June 16. According to the announcement, items in students’ Primary Cart will also be removed. Prior to June 16, students will receive an email with the contents of their cart and will need to “rebuild the cart” after the system is reset, re-entering any relevant override codes, including those that had already been approved. Courses for next semester will then be posted after the University announces the plan for the coming 2020-2021 academic year.

Dean of the College Rashid Zia ’01 and Dean of the Graduate School Andrew G. Campbell also announced that changes will be made to the current pre-registration system to “improve this process for all students,” in the community-wide email announcing the delay Wednesday.

Zia and Campbell announced that changes will be made to the pre-registration system in order to improve the system and "to accommodate the needs of our expansive global community.” More information will be released leading up to pre-registration in August.

Online pre-registration has long been a woe to University students. In 2008, just two years after Banner's conception (the precursor to Course@Brown), The Herald reported students attempted to create a computer program to automatically register for classes. Subsequently, administration at the time warned that the action was a violation of University policy.

In a UCS meeting last fall, Zia described possible plans for redesigning pre-registration. At the time, he stated the importance of a new system allowing all students equal access to spots in courses. 

Students will be able to give “advice and feedback” for improving pre-registration through a google form that was linked in the announcement email.



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