Waitlists and withdrawals

Photo: Course Admin team member, Ian Grayson, processing withdrawals

With so many classes full and long waitlists, many members find themselves waiting for someone to withdraw in order to get into the classes they want. How can we fix this?

A big problem – ‘Wishful enrolment’

It seems many of our members have enrolled in some classes just in case they might want to attend them. Then, come the start of the year, they withdraw. These ‘wishful’ enrolments cause big problems:

  • they prevent committed members from enrolling in the class
  • the associated withdrawals add a huge load on our Course Admin team which is unsustainable.

Believe it or not, since enrolment day, excluding Summer School, there have been over 450 requests to withdraw from classes before Term 1 even started! If we add in Summer School and last week, over 800 withdrawals have had to be processed.

We hope we won’t have to reduce the maximum number of classes members can enrol in even further next year to avoid this problem.

How can you help?

Please, only enrol in a class if you are certain that you want to attend. Of course, unexpected things may happen and your plans change, that’s fine. But please don’t just enrol on the off chance you might go along to a class.

Speaking of Waitlists – how do they work?

Course Admin are often asked “Where am I on the waitlist?”, “When will get in?”, or “Why was another person accepted before me?”. The short answer is that your position on the waitlist doesn’t mean anything.

Our aim in filling vacancies is to give preference to members who have no classes at all, or very few, or who may have no classes in the same category. So when a place becomes available in a class, we don’t simply take the first person on the waitlist. Instead, the Course Admin team checks each person on the waitlist to see what other classes they are accepted in, how many, what type etc.

For example, you may be on the waitlist for an exercise class. If you are in two exercise classes already, it’s unlikely that you would get into a third. But if you had, say, only one history class and one art class, and everyone else on the waitlist had more classes, you would probably be accepted into the exercise class.

Of course, many of our leaders do monitor their waitlists and may ask Course Admin to offer a place to a member. The leader always has the final word as to who is in their class.


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