Students looking to score a spot in a full class next semester may turn to a questionable solution.
When students at Emory University were found buying and selling spots in full classes, college students around the country were not surprised.
At UF, the process is not unheard of, but it is a rare occurrence.
“I don’t know anyone who’s done that,” said Angela Tang, a 19-year-old UF sophomore. “I’ve heard about it.”
Chris Loschiavo, UF associate dean of students and director of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, said buying and selling spots in classes is not something the Dean of Students Office deals with regularly.
“I’ve been here almost eight years, and I’ve never had that brought to my attention,” he said.
A simple search on the UF Class of 2017 and UF Class of 2018 Facebook pages yields posts asking for students to drop classes that are full, but none advertising the sale of spots. The organic chemistry 2 lab seems to be the most popular class students need.
“I’ve heard of people saving them for their friends,” said Asa Eliasson, a 25-year-old UF nutrition first-year graduate student. “I’ve never heard of buying them though.”
Some students seem unsure whether or not buying and selling spots should be a punishable offense.
“I feel like it’s bribery to pay someone else to get your seat for you,” Tang said. “I don’t think it’s fair because it’s set up on a credit system, so it’s supposed to be that whoever has more credits gets it first, but that way it’s not really fair.”
Loschiavo said selling spots in classes is certainly a violation of the student conduct code, but the consequences for it would be decided on a case-by-case basis.
“We’d work with the registrar’s office to give them a late registration time for their next semester,” he said. “It could be a suspension. If they were really making a lot of money, and they were making kind of a business thing, and it wasn’t just for one or two people, that might be more serious and warrant a suspension, so it really would depend on the facts of the situation.”
Loschiavo said it is difficult to say what exactly the Dean of Students Office would do in this situation because it has never been reported.
“What we try to do is look for ways to repair harm,” he said. “We’d try to identify a way to make things right.”
[A version of this story ran on page 8 on 12/2/2014]