The Associated Students Senate passed a bill last week that could allow ROTC cadets to register for classes as early as student athletes.
The creation of the bill began approximately seven years ago when the Internal Vice President of the Senate at the time was an ROTC cadet who wanted to resolve the registration concerns of other ROTC members.
Current A.S. President Austin Hechler, however, has been the first to take action since its original proposal, and Senators Alex Giolito and Riley Hobson have authored the most recent version.
Giolito credited Hechler for the work he has done to revive the bill.
“In recent history, what brought this all together was Austin Hechler and his work with the ROTC program through talking with a number of different members of it whom he worked with for this project,” Giolito said.
Following Hechler’s outreach to ROTC, Giolito and Hobson began to draft the bill. The bill outlines problems that have existed for UCSB students in the ROTC program, such as the challenge of attending morning classes after morning workouts, managing major classes and keeping up with ROTC requirements while balancing their schedules.
This bill has garnered support from a variety of individuals, including both current and former UCSB ROTC members.
The bill includes a letter from current ROTC Cadet Austin Amato, a fourth-year economics and accounting major, to the Academic Senate. In the letter, Amato said he supports the potential results that priority registration could bring.
“If I had the opportunity to utilize priority registration, I would have been more competitive in ROTC, better prepared for classes and perhaps had the opportunity to further immerse myself into other activities and clubs around campus, such as the TMP [Technology Management Program] program,” he said in the letter.
Jeffrey Stopple, the interim co-dean of undergraduate education for the College of Letters & Science, said he also supports this bill. He said that with prior registration, those enrolled in the ROTC program would have fewer quarters of academic advising since they will be able to better follow their pre-approved academic schedules.
“This will benefit the ROTC cadets, and by reducing workload in our understaffed office, indirectly benefit all Letters & Science students,” Stopple said.
With the Senate’s approval, the bill will now be evaluated by the Academic Senate. If it passes there, it will then go into effect.
“ROTC students are a respected portion of the student body and should certainly be rewarded by our school for their dedication and service to the ROTC program,” Hobson said. “I can’t think of any better way to do this than by making their schedules easier by allowing ROTC students to pick their classes with priority.”