Itâ€™s that time of year again. The sun has returned to Colorado, bringing with it more cold weather, Frisbee games, short skirts and student government presidential scandals.
Being the sharp-minded scholars we are, we know that means once again itâ€™s time to register for fall classes â€“â€“ except for you seniors who for some reason think the real world is more desirable than college.
During the next few weeks weâ€™ll all make our twice yearly migration over to http://ramweb.colostate.edu, register as quick as possible to ensure we get those hot professors and then weâ€™ll let RAMweb slide back into one of giant tubes where the Internet lives.
Or you could read on to learn about all the other really cool things RAMweb can do for you. Soon youâ€™ll be clocking more hours on RAMweb than you do on Facebook.
First thereâ€™s DARS. No, itâ€™s not a scary military missile defense system that an acronym like that brings to mind. Itâ€™s actually your best friend when making a four-year plan for your classes â€“â€“ or, you know, a one year plan to make sure youâ€™ll graduate before the money runs out.
The Degree Audit Report is basically a way for the system to spit out at you what degree requirements you have filled, what is in progress and what you still need to do.
The audit is a new feature since we started at CSU, and new upgrades keep getting added to it, including some helpful new changes this semester.
DARS is basically what your academic advisor checks before your appointments with them to see if youâ€™re on track. Weâ€™ve had some bad experiences with advisers â€“â€“ one of our first ones never did degree auditsÂ â€“â€“ so you may not want to trust them with your tuition money.
Friendly advice, if they donâ€™t tell you exactly what you still need to graduate during your advising session, switch advisers. Thatâ€™s their job, and itâ€™s definitely within your rights as a student to fire them.
So, now you know about DARS. It can be accessed from your RAMweb page, and it includes all of your degreeâ€™s requirements plus color-coded pie charts â€“â€“ because students love pie.
The one bad thing is the requirements are written in barely understandable jargon, so keep a copy of your printed course requirements to translate.
This semester will also be the first time you can use the new waitlisting feature for class registration.
This is a long overdue feature that weâ€™re excited to finally try out. We mentioned it last semester, but itâ€™s now online as we speak.
When a class is full, youâ€™ll be able to register for the class as waitlisted. Then, if someone drops, youâ€™ll be notified via e-mail or even text message, and youâ€™ll have 24 hours to get back on RAMweb to register for the class. If you fail to do so, the next person on the list will be notified and so on.
For now, the waitlists will have a capacity of 99 people per class, though we would suggest finding an alternative class after slot number 20 or 30 has filled.
Some other cool features that you can look forward to in future versions of RAMweb include: the display of ISBNs of all required materials for each class, possible mobile versions of RAMweb, electronic major/minor change requests and, last but not least, a ranking of all CSU classes by hotness of TAs.
Columnists Ryan Gibbons and Glen Pfeiffer say: Give us back that filet oâ€™ fish. Give us that fish. Send fish via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.