Idea Trek

Leveraging technology to increase equity in the add/drop period In Reserve

There are several issues with our current add/drop system in which students try to add courses after WebTree has run.

(1) When the system opens early in the morning, students report website/browser crashing, and cannot get the courses they want in the first minute.

(2) For spots that open up later in the week, it creates pressure for students to constantly check course availability throughout the week.

(3) Most troubling, there are multiple reports of students placed into high-demand courses being propositioned with offers to sell their spot in that class for as much as $100.


To solve these issues, I propose a new add/drop system with the following features:

(1) When a student drops a class, it becomes visible as an opening viewable to any student immediately in the course schedule.

(2) However, no one will be able to claim that spot for some period of time we would define (example: 48 hours).

(3) Critically, in that 48-hour period, *any* student could put in a request for that spot opening.

(4) The student who gets the spot after the 48 hours would be based on their original WebTree submission.


As an example, imagine student A gets a class and plans to sell it to their wealthy friend, B. But student C is a senior, and listed the course high on their tree, while student B did not. In this system, student A would be unable to sell it to B because they could not guarantee that student C would not exist and claim it.


Ultimately, my proposal is essentially an ongoing "WebTree round 2." It could either depend on students' original trees, or perhaps give them an opportunity to re-rank courses first before being implemented.


Idea No. 53