The Academic Policies Committee of the Faculty Senate has decided not to change the add/drop date next semester. Students will have eight days from the first day of the semester to decide which classes they wish to add and drop from their schedule.

On Feb. 29, Student Government presented a resolution to the Faculty Senate to open discussion about the add/drop date.

The Student Senate resolution laid out counterarguments to the list of reasons cited by the Faculty Senate when it had changed the add/drop date in spring 2010. Prior to the fall 2011 semester, students had two weeks to add or drop classes.

The Faculty Senate stated that the reasons for its decision to change the add/drop date in the resolution presented by Student Government were incorrect, but the Academic Policies Committee decided to discuss the issue over spring break and return with a decision.

As of now, there will be no change to the add/drop date.

According to Suzanne Scott, chair of the Academic Policies Committee of the Faculty Senate, there are two major reasons for not changing the add/drop date.

“The most important things were [that] financial aid is held up, which is a hardship for some students,” Scott said. “The other thing is [that] the eight-day period does allow for everyone to attend one class. We had to look at what we saw as the best solution for everyone in the university. It does put the student at a disadvantage [to show up to a class two weeks after it has started].”

Students cannot receive financial aid until the add/drop period has been closed. Because financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, a later drop date would harm George Mason University students.

According to Scott and the Faculty Senate, many professors complained about the length of the add/drop period in 2010, when it was two weeks. They said that students missed too much class time, and it was a challenge for some of these students to catch up.

According to an email that Scott sent to two members of Student Government, “Mason’s tuition revenue from the state is based on the add date census.”

This means that in addition to financial aid issues, Mason does not receive state funding (in terms of tuition revenue) until the add/drop deadline has passed.

Scott also addressed issues concerning certain students, such as performance majors, who must audition before being admitted to classes. These students do not hear back from their auditions immediately and have less time than other students at Mason to finalize their schedules.

“We sympathize with students who are doing auditions and need that extra time,” Scott said. “We can’t encourage late schedule adjustments, but we do feel it is a safety net for those who experience those problems.”

According to Scott, the add/drop deadline discussion is over for the time being, but it may be brought up again in the future.

“The bottom line is we’ve decided to leave it as it is,” Scott said. “We are not out of line with other Virginia universities on it. Only two Virginia universities have an extended drop period like we do, so we are not that out of line.”

Student Government has declined to comment, but noted that they are still working on the issue.