Next semester, student athletes at the University of Michigan will have first pick of classes, a new policy that is making other busy students—like one ROTC cadet—upset. "There are so many people who are working very hard, paying their way through college, there is no special consideration for them," one sophomore cadet told the Michigan Daily. "[The priority registration policy is] basically saying that the athletic department is a step ahead of the rest of the school."
The faculty governing body that approved the policy in a unanimous resolution justified it by citing athletes' busy practice schedules and difficulty registering for classes that were early enough (before the typical 2 p.m. practice) or not on Friday, when athletes often travel.
"Not all professors at U-M will allow students to make up the class work," one faculty board member wrote in an E-mail. "It is really unfortunate that there are professors who are not understanding of the bind that such students are in—NCAA issues, competition requirements, limitation of course availability, etc."
He added that because athletes formally represent the university when on the field, they should be granted priority registration.
The student government also passed the resolution in a 23-to-3 vote in April, saying that only 2 percent of Michigan's students were athletes and that other schools like Northwestern, Ohio State, Notre Dame, UCLA, and Virginia had similar policies.