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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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New students find classes are filled

Incoming freshmen may be able to fill their time with social activities as Stony Brook University welcomes them to campus, but they may not be filling their schedules  as much.

After a number of budget cuts, classes have been reduced in size and even in existence, giving incoming freshmen a difficult time finding classes they need to take, along with what they’d like to take.

“My schedule’s really weird now because I had to find the classes that I needed and the good times were taken,” said freshman Sarah Bengeloun, 17, of Dix Hills, who is currently undecided. “I wanted to take a DEC course.”

Because of the lack of variety in DEC courses available to freshmen, they may have to settle for something they have no interest in, if anything at all.

“There were only two left, so I had to settle with this one I really didn’t want to take,” Bengeloun said. “I really didn’t want to take [it] but I figured first semester finishes fast so just take it and get it over with.”

She wanted to take Elements of Music and Moral Reasoning, but more importantly she wanted to take WRT102, the advanced of the writing requisites. Although she qualified for the class for the first semester, she was unable to enroll.

“I think it’s important to have a writing class because college writing is a step up from high school and if we don’t have the writing course to start us off, we may feel a little ‘out of our league’ I guess,” she said.

Nicole Schwager, 17, a history major and an incoming freshman, also found trouble picking classes.

“Most of them were filled before my orientation date, and what was left got filled up quickly,” she said. “The instructors and orientation leaders were really helpful in finding classes I was interested in. It was finding ones that were open that was the issue.”

Advisers and undergraduate students worked together to make the cut-back classes as easy to enroll in as possible.

“I think the advising staff, undergraduate college staff, and the College of Arts and Science leadership worked very hard over the summer to minimize any disruptions or difficulties, and worked with all students through the fall orientation process,” said Charles Robbins, vice provost for undergraduate education. “It’s stressful, I don’t deny that, but they worked very hard to ensure that the vast majority of students were able to leave with programs that were appropriate for what they wanted to study.”

Freshmen, who are divided into groups during orientation, had difficulties finding classes.

“Everyone in my group had this problem in one way or another,” Schwager said.

Whether they’ll run into the same obstacles in the upcoming semesters or not, however, is impossible to tell.

“Unfortunately, I think that the overall economic situation will remain tight, and depending on the actions of the state legislature, then it might,” Robbins said. “The overall economic situation won’t improve. It’s very difficult to predict what they’ll do and not do.”

Stony Brook University has slashed expenses for programs. In the past two years, the university has lost about $60 million from state funding, which is 20 percent of the university’s budget. Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., along with other university representatives, has gone to Albany numerous times during the budget season to try and restore funding, although it was not granted. Because of this, the university has stopped one of two leases at the Stony Brook Manhattan satellite location and closed the Southampton campus, along with plans to create a campus with undergraduate programs in Korea.

In the meantime, one way to try to get around missing out on necessary or desired classes is to register as soon as a registration appointment is made.

“It’s just a matter of making your schedule a priority and getting registered early for next semester,” Schwager said.

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