These changes don’t register

Twelve weeks into the semester, students and faculty alike have begun to anticipate course registration. 

However, if you haven’t checked your email, you’ll be surprised to know the class registration and advising process was unexpectedly restructured for this spring’s registration season.

Announced in a March 22 community-wide email from Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Christopher Gregory, students will now be registering on Monday mornings over the span of four weeks.

Each week, registration will open to a “registration group” that is determined based on the number of credits a student has earned. Group One students will have an expected completion of 22 credits, Group Two is 14 to 21 credits, Group Three is six to 13 credits, and Group Four is zero to five credits.

Registration will begin on Monday mornings at the unholy hour of 7:30 a.m.

Honors students will no longer be allowed to register days ahead of other students. Rather, they will go 30 minutes before their respective registration group at 7:30 a.m. In-season athletes will be allowed to begin registering 15 minutes before other members of their registration group.

All other students in each registration group will gain access to registration at 8 a.m.

Registering for classes has never been an easy task, and many systems have been put in place to assist students in completing it. 

For example, Foundations peer mentors have taught first-year students how to register and provided guidance – meeting with them during registration to ensure everything goes smoothly.

But who will be available to students at 7:30 a.m.?

Student Services doesn’t open until 8:00 a.m. 

If an honors student or athlete has problems registering, they miss their advantage in registration time and will be at risk of losing a seat in a class they need prior to resolving their issues.

Commuters either have to stay home to register for courses and risk being late to class or come to school early, where they will have to put their trust in an unreliable Wi-Fi connection in order to secure the classes they need to graduate.

We have a large commuter population. With these registration changes, the University moves further away from being a commuter-friendly campus.

We were only informed of the changes a week ago.

Course registration is hard in the best of circumstances, and the University’s last-minute changes are not only a nuisance, but are part of a pattern.

Last semester, right before class registration, the entire layout of the Course Search and Registration page was redesigned. No one was informed and no one received proper communication and guidance on how to navigate the new system.

Here we are again with more changes with no answers as to why. 

The University also introduced a financial contract last semester which students must sign in order to register for classes.

Students still don’t understand this contract.

A simple communication from the administration would inform students that it is nothing new, and only a reminder that they have an obligation to pay for the classes for which they register. 

The University claims to be progressing toward a “student-ready” campus, which provides all the resources and services needed to ensure students can succeed.

However, a main component of that should be communication – an area in which the University finds itself lacking when it comes to registration.

At the recent SGA Administrators’ Forum, students shared concerns about the lack of communication from the Registrar’s Office. 

Additionally, because of this lack of communication, students don’t know whom to turn to when problems with course registration arise.

Administrators have identified staffing issues as the main reason for the problems that fuel student frustrations when registering for classes.

If the University is too understaffed to communicate quickly and effectively as well as provide basic registration assistance, why are changes being made right now to aspects of registration that students did not consider problematic in the first place?

Money and time would be better devoted to providing resources and channels of communication to make the registration process more straightforward and manageable.

It’s unfortunate how many students might completely miss course registration because of how late these changes were communicated to us.

Registration was already a flawed system, and administrators have only further fostered confusion and frustration.

These changes don’t register.