More students allowed to skip spring term class to accommodate remote learning

Spring option is usually closed to all first-year students

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The Washington and Lee University campus, featuring Huntley Hall and Newcomb Hall. Photo by Coleman Martinson, ’21.

Grace Mamon

More students are eligible to declare spring option this year, given Washington and Lee University’s transition to remote learning in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Usually, all first-year students, students with an incomplete grade for a winter term course and students on academic probation are not allowed to pass on taking a spring term class.

The University Registrar’s Office has removed all of these restrictions for Spring 2020, except in the cases of courses that students need to graduate.

According to data provided by University Registrar Scott Dittman, a total of 294 students are formally declaing spring option, as of April 22, a week before spring term began.

“[The data] isn’t complete yet,” Dittman said. “Obviously a few are still considering.”

Applications for Spring Option remained open until April 30, the second day of the abbreviated spring term.

Laura Bruce, ‘20, said she decided to spring option, even though she was excited for her spring term class, The Poetics and Politics of Food with English Professor Deborah Miranda.

“I really wanted to take this class and I was actually looking forward to it for a long time,” Bruce said. “I saw it offered my freshman year and I really wanted to take it, but it was an upper level English poetry class so I couldn’t.”

Bruce is one of 225 seniors who decided to spring option, but she said she wouldn’t have chosen to if classes were happening on campus.

“A lot of it is situational,” Bruce said. “I would’ve loved to take this class otherwise, but given the circumstances, I decided it would be best to spring option.”

Bruce will be spending the spring working on her senior physics thesis and moving back home to New Orleans.

“I love to write poems, but I think I can wait on that,” she said.

The Ring-tum Phi used data provided by the registrar’s office to create the following charts depicting how many students per each class chose to spring option, and common reasons for doing so.

The Ring-tum Phi used data provided by the registrar’s office to create the following charts.
The Ring-tum Phi used data provided by the registrar’s office to create the following charts.