A Simple Solution To Class Registration Woes

BY PAMELA FOOHEY

Frustration. Frustration sums up my feelings about the class registration process. While I admire the registrar for its efforts to provide students with an updated system, there is one major flaw: the add/drop period does not start until the first day of class. I understand, this has always been the case, but the logic of it escapes me. Like many others, I ranked classes in May, went off to my summer job, re-assessed my rankings before the fall lottery, and was mildly happy with my schedule when the results arrived. Then things fell into place and I realized there were other classes I wanted to take, only to discover that there was no way to get into them before the first day of class or even know if there would be space available.

Now, I do realize that almost certainly there were few students who experienced the same sudden reversal of class preference. The registrar’s forethought to extend the fall lottery selection period until mid-July was a good idea, and likely solved much of the class shuffling that would have taken place otherwise. But I do know others who were just as frustrated as I was in the days preceding class. I heard the same series of questions. How do I know if I will be able to switch into a class? Do I buy books for the class even if I don’t know if I can get in? And for the one I want to switch out of? Do I read for both? I guess I can’t highlight the books. Why is this so difficult? All I want to do is switch into the classes I want, buy my books, prepare for class, and not have to worry that I will have less than an hour to read my first assignments!

Granted, the registrar cannot solve students’ inability to choose classes, but once students have determined what classes they want to take, it can solve the unnecessary frustration that ensues. Students will be able to drop the classes they no longer want without worrying that in doing so they will be unable to add the classes they do want. This will allow waitlists to truly reflect where students stand. The bookstore will have to deal with fewer returns. The rush to MyPlan at the beginning of add/drop will disappear and the flow of students into the registrar’s office during one of its busiest times will subside. Students will be able to put their minds at ease, prepare for the semester, and have a real answer when people ask them what classes they are taking. Likewise, those students that like to sample classes will still be able to do so.

With one semester under its belt, the registrar undoubtedly is fixing the bugs in the MyPlan system. I encourage, no beg, them to consider starting the add/drop period before the first day of class next year. In no way do I think my suggestion is revolutionary. In fact, I feel silly writing it because it seems so obvious. Maybe it is a technology problem? Yet, other universities start their add/drop periods before classes start, so it must be possible. Really, it will be easier for everyone.

Pamela Foohey, 2L, really is very happy with her classes.

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