Ask almost any recent alum about the registration process, and you’re sure to get a horror story.  Many will tell of waiting for computers, unresponsive browsers and walking uphill both ways.
Luckily for current students, registration drastically improved when the Office of the Registrar decided to spread registration times throughout the day.
“It was taking some students up to 20 minutes to log on to the registration system,” Registrar Leslie Betz said. “Student registration times were spread throughout the day to relieve the load on the registration system.”
And students have not been ungrateful for these updates. The new registration process is as easy on students as it is on the computer.
“The system works well because not everyone is on the computers at the same time, which means no system crashes,” junior Aaron Smith said.
But the new system has also left students in a bind, as registration times often fall during class, athletic events or other inflexible obligations.
“My registration time last semester was ten minutes into a test, and I wasn’t allowed to start the test until I registered for my classes,” one first-year physics major said. “The whole processes took up 15 minutes of my 50 minutes test.
“I felt rushed, which caused me to make some simple, stupid mistakes that cost me 10 points on the test.”
While not all student have as much at stake, many of them have to make the decision of whether to go to class and potentially miss out on one of the last few slots in a course or whether to bother the professor by leaving class early or coming late.
Even when professors are understanding, many students feel that it is inappropriate to give up class time to register for classes.
“My registration was right at the beginning of a class,” sophomore Amelia Smith said. “Even though my professor was sympathetic, it felt disruptive and rude to pull my laptop out in the middle of class to register. I felt like I had no choice, though.”
Because they do not want to punish students, many professors allow these interruptions, even though they are unhappy about the need to do so.
“This term, out of 40 students in two of my classes that meet during registration times, 10 of them have had to leave early or come late,” associate professor of English Alison Sainsbury said.
“While I understand the need for students to register, it can be disruptive to a course and is not an ideal situation,” assistant professor of chemistry Brian Brennan said.
A possible solution to this problem would be moving registration to nights or weekends, but this comes with its own sets of complications.
“Staffing the Registrar’s Office would become a challenge with evening or weekend hours, as we do want to be open to assist students,” Betz said.
While this could be an issue, the benefits outweigh the costs in this situation. By having registration at night or on the weekend, the problems students are experiencing would be completely taken care of with only the mild inconvenience of waiting to visit the Registrar until the following day.
While there might be a bit of a rush in the morning hours, this would still solve the problem of disrupting class or possibly throwing a test.
Although the recent changes to the registration process are a step up from the last system, it still needs some fine-tuning.