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Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Classes required to graduate cut from the spring schedule

Students and faculty scrambling to come up with alternatives to meet requirements
Neal Wong
A bar graph made of books shows the number of undergraduate course sections offered in the spring 2023 semester compared to the spring 2024 semester. (Photo illustration by Neal Wong/Golden Gate Xpress)

The class schedule is out for the Spring 2024 semester, showing a 14% drop in class sections from the spring schedule in 2023, leaving students wondering if they can graduate on time.

Sofía Lopez, an interior design major, expects to graduate next semester, but a class she needs to graduate was cut from the spring schedule.

“I received an email by the department chair that one of the core classes I need in order to graduate was not going to be offered in the spring,” Lopez said.

In a letter sent to staff last month, Amy Sueyoshi, provost and vice president of
academic affairs, reassured staff that the school would keep students on track for graduation and the class cuts would not affect their requirements.

“We will continue to offer students the courses they need for graduation,” Sueyoshi said.

The Spring 2024 schedule has 2,925 course sections across all levels, compared with 3,369 in Spring 2023, according to Kent Bravo, San Francisco State University’s media relations specialist.

The Department Chair of Family, Interiors, Nutrition & Apparel, Dr. Gus Vouchilas, told Lopez that other students were in the same position and that the department would accept an online independent study course to fulfill the requirement.

JP Misheff, a philosophy and religion major, has also noticed a positive response from his department.

“If it weren’t for the utterly stupendous leadership of the philosophy department, I’d be freaking out right now,” Misheff said. “But they are bending over beyond backward for those of us most impacted.”

Lopez noticed fewer class sections offered, taking away the flexibility to balance her
other commitments.

“I commute to campus and I also work, so I like having different options of days and times a class is offered in order to create a balanced schedule,” Lopez said.

Some students are feeling the larger effects of the cuts in the schedule.

“Starting in the spring, there will be precisely zero religion classes offered at SF State,” Misheff said. “The new schedule has literally zapped most of my required classes off the map. It feels surreal, halfway through an academic year, to be facing the elimination of the major you planned to graduate within the spring.”

English professor Geoffrey Green believes the class cuts could slow down progress for students’ major requirements.

Course sections in spring 2023 and spring 2024 semesters broken down by college, plus All University. (Stephanie King /Golden Gate Xpress)

“Students have expressed to me their fears and frustrations,” Green said. “The effect on fulfilling university requirements may be deleterious as well.”

Green adds that the department is doing everything possible to alleviate those effects.

“This may be an appropriate way to run a mega-corporation, but it is most certainly a frustrating way for a university to function,” Green said.

Classes aren’t guaranteed to be available if low enrollment continues to affect SFSU, and classes don’t have enough students to continue.

“My courses have very low enrollment and they have been at risk of being cut, which is insane because I’m in the Chinese program and SFSU is known for its Chinese program,” Underwood said.

Reduced classes and low enrollment have other ripple effects as well, which are an
added stressor for students.

“Many of us are still recovering from the financial strains left by the pandemic. The drop in enrollment is a very clear example of the effects of raising tuition,” Lopez said.

“It is very trickle-down from the schedule because I am running out of money,” Underwood said.

Underwood added she is from a low-income family and lives in low-income housing without any extra support. She began her education at a community college and chose SFSU, citing its affordable tuition as a key factor in her decision.

“I did everything you’re supposed to do, but somehow the price of college is still feeling out of reach for me and worrying me,” Underwood said. “The thing is I’m stuck –– there is nothing I can do. I can’t go to a different school just because the price will be cheaper. There are no options for me.”

The choices to the cuts have further ramifications, according to Misheff.

“With world events being as they currently are, the decision to get entirely rid of religious studies is stunningly out of touch,” Misheff said.

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About the Contributors
Stephanie King, Staff Reporter
Stephanie King is a reporter for Golden Gate Xpress. She is a print and online journalism major with a minor in sociology. She is also enrolled in SFSU’s College of Professional & Global Education, completing a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Stephanie is a freelance writer and published author. She grew up in Marin Country, and now enjoys her rent-controlled San Francisco home with her cat, Sophie. When Stephanie is not reading biographies or other non-fiction, she attends San Francisco sports games and is a season ticket holder for The Golden State Warriors.
Neal Wong, Co-Copy Editor
Neal Wong (he/him) is a third-year journalism student and minoring in urban studies and planning. He was born and raised in San Francisco and attended Washington High School. He has photographed and written for Golden Gate Xpress first as a contributor, then as a photographer, and now as a copy editor. His photos have also been published by the San Francisco Bay ViewSan Francisco Public Press, Mission Local, and Xpress Magazine. Neal has also created and taught four SFSU Experimental College courses. His hobbies include traveling, cooking, and reading.

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