How to get off the waitlist

waitlistInterests at Brown may vary, but for anyone who dabbles in electives, the desire to get into a class off a waitlist is nearly universal.

Maybe you’re an underclassmen, and your dream class was filled before you even got the chance to register. Maybe you’re a lazy senior who didn’t feel like waking up at 8 a.m. to solidify your shopping cart. While some have walked into a classroom they didn’t have a spot in, thought, “this syllabus is [insert fire emoji]”, and immediately started plotting on how to secure that override, others get immediately intimidated by that throng of people huddled by the door and decide to try their luck elsewhere. We’re here to help.

Sort of. We’re probably legally, and certainly morally obligated to suggest that you don’t try any of the methods listed below (although some of them are actually…good ideas?). But, for those of you that have more than a drop of Slytherin in their veins, here are some quasi-acceptable (read: not at all acceptable) ways to get off of those waitlists.

  • Fake an email to half of the registered class that the registrar has switched the room assignment. Reap the benefits of their naivety.
  • Legally change your name to whoever holds the first spot on the waitlist.

oceans 18

  • Break into the registrar’s office and issue yourself an override code. The operation will be called “Oceans 18” in honor of the 18th seat you created in a 17 person seminar.
  • If the course credit isn’t your prerogative, vagabond the class for the entire semester and hope the professor doesn’t notice that you’re not actually enrolled.
  • Get an associate to pull the fire alarm while the sign-up sheet is being passed around, thus ensuring that you are number one on the waitlist, and making it appear that many of those who are registered did not show up for the first day of class.
  • For those who plan ahead: After pre-registration, email every single professor whose class if full, and then sell those waitlist spots to desperate students during shopping period.
  • Go the first day of class 20 minutes early. Impersonate the professor and announce that the class has been suddenly canceled. When the real professor arrives, only the most dedicated students will have stayed behind.
  • Alternately, lock the door so that the real professor can’t get in and continue to impersonate them. Teach the class for the rest of the semester and keep going until you get tenure.


  • And of course, you could use your soul to barter with the devil. Seriously, HELL0010 is at capacity and we hear that class is lit.

Images via Jokichi Matsubara ’18.

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