“Add denied.” “Due to departmental restrictions, students in
your major are not allowed to register for this class.” “This
section is currently full.”
It’s the message that a lot of students will get over the next
few weeks as registration begins.
This is the time of year when my stress level hits max.
Technical problems abound. Classes seem to fill up before people
even start registering.
The online registration program has no heart. It doesn’t care if
you are an honors student. It laughs in the face of graduating
seniors. It slowly ticks down toward zero spots left every time you
hit the refresh button on your Internet window.
Registration is like teasing a dog with a biscuit. The
departments dangle all these classes right in front of your nose,
but you can’t register for them. Even in times of economic success,
the university’s goal of keeping classes small has led to students
being shut out of taking classes they want. And the lower on the
food chain you are (sophomores and freshmen, this is you), the less
likely you are to be taking anything besides those lovely core
Now the economy is bad and it’s forcing departments to take
drastic action. Many departments are no longer offering overrides.
Others are not offering them until the first day of class next
semester. For some classes, you can’t register for them until Nov.
22 or Dec. 1 if you are a non-major student. Some departments don’t
even let you register for their classes unless you are in their
I understand the problems departments are facing. Cutbacks have
led to fewer full-time professor positions, which means fewer
professors, which means fewer sections of a class being offered (or
a class not being offered at all). Departments still have to cater
to their major students first and foremost, so registration
restrictions are put on a class or a class is limited to major
Here’s where my problem with this whole system comes in. You
need 120 credits to graduate. With every major, you are required to
take credits outside of your major. You need at least 42
upper-division credits. Thirty of them have to be taken at CSU.
So, how am I supposed to graduate on time when I can’t get into
the classes I need?
Graduating in four years is important to me, and I’ve worked
hard to make sure that I have as many of my required classes done
as possible (except for math, which scares me). I need 10 credits
to graduate and 12 to keep my financial aid. In fact, the only
class I technically have to take next semester is statistics, which
leaves me nine free credits to take whatever upper-division classes
I want. Supposedly.
I’ve maxed out my major credits in journalism, so I need to look
to other departments for my credits. But thanks to the no-override
no-exceptions policy, I’m looking at the very real scenario that I
might not be able to get into classes next semester, which means I
don’t graduate. Sticking around an extra semester probably wouldn’t
help, since things are probably going to get worse before they get
better. I know people who have resorted to having friends hold
spots in classes for each other to get around restrictions. This
hurts both students, because it’s a class time that they can’t use
themselves to register for a class until the restriction deadlines
Yes, if I get shut out of the classes I really want, I can
probably find other classes to take. But this isn’t supposed to be
like high school, where you take English I, II, III, IV, algebra
II, trigonometry and calculus, biology, earth systems, and AP
biology, etc. I’m paying CSU to be able to take the classes I want
to take. Obviously, everyone is shut out of some classes because of
prerequisites. But somehow, even as a graduating senior, it looks
as though I will once again be prevented from taking some pretty
cool classes. In fact, I’m going to have to dig to find any classes
left that I can take at all.
I’ve had a bad taste about registration all four years, but this
year is definitely the worst. What’s the point of assigning
registration times if students can’t get into half the classes they
need anyway? I know my registration time Thursday morning didn’t
help me at all. I feel like I’m being punished because I was
studious for three and a half years. I finished all my major work.
Now I just want to get the hell out of here!
Thea is a senior majoring in technical journalism. All donations
of whine and cheese should be sent to KCSU, where she works as