Editorial, Opinion

STAFF EDIT: Relaxing registration

Class registration is a nerve-racking and sometimes frustrating process, which is to be expected at a university serving 16,685 undergrads. But fair is fair when it comes time for all those students to pick classes for the next semester, and seniority certainly helps in getting the classes you want. But the increasingly popular loophole around waiting for one’s turn to register is being overused, and should be curtailed.

Using another student who has an earlier registration time as means to reserve a seat in a particular class is a process that has been common for years. Often, upperclassmen will register for an extra class for a friend who has a worse registration number, then drop it later for the friend to pick it up. More people are using this idea as a way to pick off the best time slots for classes.

Boston University is a huge institution. With size comes many perks, but also some inevitable drawbacks. Students frequently find themselves looking for room in particular classes, but being shut out due to lack of space or available class sections. This is one of the facts that students at large universities have always dealt with. It is nearly impossible for BU or any institution to provide classes and sections that fit all students’ demands and desires.

Naturally, students will find ways around these limitations to enroll in the classes they want. At registration, students often find classes that are essential to their majors already full. In this case, the tactic of reserving a seat via other students is a justifiable way to maintain progress in one’s chosen major.

But the workaround becomes an abuse when students take advantage of friends simply to create the perfect schedule. Students should be able to take the courses they want, but no college can guarantee them the classes will be at times when students want them. It’s another fact of large universities that freshmen and sophomores must often take what classes they can, when they can, and juniors, seniors and graduate students begin to pick more specific and harder-to-get classes as they move up the ranks.

It’s not possible for every student to register for every class they want at the times they want, but with some action both by students and the university, a tough situation can be improved. The university should begin instituting a more staggered registration schedule, giving preference for declared major students to register for major-essential classes before others, and then opening up registration for that student to all courses in all departments a few hours later.

This move would benefit the administration as well as students. Students who find their major-specific classes would cut back on the practice of seat-reserving, which would make registration less daunting for freshmen and sophomores, and restore the perk of seniority for juniors and seniors. Fewer students would become angry over missing classes because many electives are not as important to those registering as those for a major are. But above all, the decision to take a class should be made only for the class itself, and not because of what time it begins.

Website | More Articles

This is an account occasionally used by the Daily Free Press editors to post archived posts from previous iterations of the site or otherwise for special circumstance publications. See authorship info on the byline at the top of the page.

Comments are closed.