Registering can be a pain

Oct 302003
Authors: Thea Domber

“Add denied.” “Due to departmental restrictions, students in

your major are not allowed to register for this class.” “This

section is currently full.”

Sound familiar?

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

curriculum classes.

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

major, ever.

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

students only.

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

station manager.




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