Students cross-registered at MIT began their fall semester with transportation challenges due to a reduced shuttle schedule, but for many, their plans were further complicated by Wellesley and MIT’s announcement that cross-registered students will have to adhere to both colleges’ COVID-19 testing schedule in order to attend class.
However, the process to cross-register was tiring for students even before the COVID-19 testing guidelines and new shuttle schedules were announced.
For Piper Wysocki ’22, taking a graduate-level quantum computation course at MIT was an exciting part of her senior year, as she had exhausted the physics curriculum at Wellesley.
“The thing that I found difficult is that while there is a website to deal with this, there is no direct contact on either end. I found myself being bounced around between individuals because nobody had a clear role in the process,” Wysocki said.
When COVID-19 testing guidelines were announced by the colleges, Wysocki learned that she would be required to be tested two or three times per week in order to gain swipe access to her MIT classrooms, on top of the twice per week required testing at Wellesley.
“For those of you keeping track, that’s potentially five COVID tests every week,” Wysocki said.
Wabil Asjad ’22 pointed out that the COVID tests can be self-administered outside of the MIT campus and dropped off, but that process still requires students to obtain and return the tests by travelling to Cambridge.
For Wysocki, the challenges for cross-registering students reflect a history of Wellesley not fulfilling its commitments to STEM majors who wish to cross register.
“Wellesley is billing itself as a growing STEM liberal arts college and they attract first-years through that reputation,” Wysocki said. “I feel like Wellesley needs to acknowledge the promise it has made to its first-years and incoming students and live up to it.”
For some students like Asjad, who currently travel to MIT for class four times per week, the classes at MIT are worth the extra labor.
“Even though it’s more work, and the classes themselves are hard work, I know that I just have to put in the extra effort for what I’m getting out of it,” Asjad said.
The complications in cross-registration have pushed some Wellesley students to lend a helping hand to fellow cross-registered students. Wysocki has been communicating extensively via social media with confused students about how to navigate the registration process, while Asjad has been dropping off COVID tests for students who can not make the trip to MIT multiple times per week.
Neither college has released a plan to make the cross registration process easier for students, but for some, like Asjad, the rigorous testing schedule is just a necessary hurdle to access MIT’s robust STEM education.
“For me, the pros outweigh the cons,” Asjad said.