Petition to Keep the 8-week Drop/Add Period

This petition takes a stance in opposition to the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors’ recent policy change to shorten the drop/add period to 10 days following the start of the semester.

UNC - Chapel Hill uses an eight-week window for students to drop courses without penalty. This policy allows students to diversify their experience in the classroom and challenge themselves to a curriculum that they may not otherwise be able to experience. Students, Faculty, and Staff alike agree that the current policy employed at UNC - Chapel Hill is the best option for student success at the University.

The eight-week drop period is a policy that has been enacted thanks to the leadership of the University. An attempt to shorten the drop period infringes upon the autonomy of each individual University in the system and thereby infringes upon the opportunity for each school to determine what is best for its students.

In effect, the new policy will force many students to decide if they will stay in a course for the entire semester, having attended a maximum of two calendar weeks of class. In all likelihood, this means that the students will have received no feedback on their performance before they decide whether or not they should remain enrolled in the class. Additionally, this policy will stifle the creative interests of students who want to experience a variety of coursework beyond what they may normally choose to do when only pursuing a curriculum aimed at achieving the benchmarks for a major or minor. This cuts at one of the primary legs at which the chair of a liberal arts education is seated. In determining the correct path for policy changes, the University must consider whether the policy enhances student success or increases University efficiency. This policy fails at satisfying either of the two criteria.

This petition gives voice to the stakeholders of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in an effort to defend the institution’s educational priorities and decision-making abilities.

We, the undersigned, call on the Board of Governors to overturn its decision to shorten the drop/add period and maintain the ability for institutional autonomy and thereby allow the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to continue the eight-week drop period that currently exists.

This petition is sponsored by The Executive Branch of Student Government at UNC - Chapel Hill

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