Arena Scheduling: a dream deferred

Kaijona Wade, Sports Editor

It’s that time of the year again. For juniors, it’s one of many moments to come that will decide your futures, and worst of all, it all comes down to just the luck of the draw. Well, if you’re savvy, it’s really the ultimate test of strategic trading and business deals. You know what I’m talking about, arena scheduling. This junior Community Period activity took place on March 27. As a senior who’s been through this overly stressful game of “how am I gonna get that class?!” there are a few things I believe should be changed if we want this whole senior scheduling process to work out a bit smoother.

Though scheduling is a bit less stressful for those who choose to take college prep courses instead of AP or Honors, the real challenge comes down to a few AP classes as well as some select electives that seem to be ever so popular every year. Among these popular classes, the one most sought after and also the most controversial is none other than AP Government & Politics. This class always receives an overwhelming number of applicants and only a small percentage who actually get the class. An unfair aspect to this is that there is no preference given to those who had previously taken AP US History, making chances of getting the class that much slimmer even if you’ve been in AP Social Studies for the previous years. “Kids who have taken AP classes should be given priority to take AP classes in that subject,” said senior Ryan Martin. “Everyone else can just duke it out,” continued Martin.

As far as electives, World Religions is another quick class to go. This is very surprising seeing as how Bellarmine is a religious institution which aims to support the growth of students physically, mentally, and religiously and tries to do so with a wide variety of curriculum. “It would be terrible for a student whose taken two years of an AP Social Studies to not get their first choice for AP Social Studies their Senior year. However with World Religions, arena scheduling is fair since it’s not an AP or Honors class,” said Martin. Senior Maddie Paradise interjected saying “You should be able to choose what religious electives you take.” She then went on to say “[Arena scheduling] doesn’t allow students to get into the classes they really deserve to be in, for example AP classes. Someone who wants to take an AP class might not get the class they want because they have a poor ticket number.”

Lack of priority seemed to be a common complaint, so to get to the bottom of it, I sat down with Vice President of Academics and Administrator who has the inside scoop on scheduling, Barbara Lidikay, who brought a more calm approach to the topic. “Students who want an AP class will get an AP class and everyone who signs up and is qualified to take an AP class has the opportunity to do so,” Lidikay said. “As far as AP Gov goes, I remember personally calling or placing students who were on the waiting list into AP Gov if I remember correctly. So in the end, those who really wanted AP Gov got to have it,” she commented, adding a sense of balance to the complaints of students. In the end, what it comes down to is making sure to follow up with your classes. If you are unable to get your first choice initially, be proactive about checking in to see if there are any open spots either toward the end of the school year or the beginning of next year. Although it may seem like the end of the world, don’t admit defeat just yet. “I had to fight really hard to get AP Gov even though I had taken AP World and AP US. And in the end, I got it,” said senior Connor Brown.

As next year’s seniors have recently chosen their classes and quite possibly have had to experience some disappointments or sighs of relief as they were one of the few to get all the classes they want, one thing is for sure, arena scheduling, though said to be “fair,” sets itself up for manipulation when only a limited quantity can choose their futures completely. As I sit in my AP Government class and see some of the full seats I wonder just how many kids wish they could have a spot. But in the end, arena scheduling is as big of a deal as you make it. You can choose to roll with the punches or see it as the ultimate defeat, but as a senior, though you may not have gotten all the classes you want, make sure you own all the ones you did. Keep your grades up and continue to work hard, because in the end, arena scheduling is only a small step on the pathway to your bright future.