May 042010
Authors: Joe E. Goings

CSU’s registration waitlist has been up and running for almost two months now, and both school administrators and professors said the system is running smoothly.

Students still register via RAMweb, but if the class section they want is full, they have the added option of putting their name on the waitlist by way of a drop box on the registration page. Students will then be notified via e-mail or text message when the next space is available and they have 24 hours to sign up for the class before they are removed from the list.

“I don’t have to worry about maintaining a list now,” said journalism professor Kim Spencer. “(In the past,) I had to remember things like who had priority over whom. This way they are just automatically in the computer.”

The waitlist was first used for registration for the summer 2010 semester and next for the fall of 2010. Within two-to-three days of both registrations opening for both, students had already signed up for a number of waitlists. According to systems specialist for the registrar’s office Sue Coulson that period demonstrated a definite need for the new system.

“It’s also more equitable for students that need classes to graduate,” Coulson, said. “This way, they aren’t in a battle to see if they can register.”

Before the waitlist, students would log on to RAMweb and continually refresh the page in the hopes of a free spot opening up. The waitlist eliminates that.

“Instead of the luck of the draw, students can ‘get in line’ to register for a course,” systems specialist for the registrar’s office Sue Coulson said.

Students can also sign up for multiple classes during the same time slot even though this causes an obvious time conflict. This allows students to create a full schedule while still being on a waitlist for a class or time they prefer over something they already have.

The waitlist also benefits professors, though not all professors and all departments use the waitlist. They can see who is on the waitlist and can check to see if students need the class versus someone else who needs more it and is later on the list.

“I think it is as fair as they can make it, since students who get to register early need it the most, such as juniors and seniors,” sophomore international relations and anthropology double-major Jenny Kim said.

Professors can also e-mail students on the waitlist, informing them of things going on with the class if the semester has begun and there are still hopeful students waiting on a spot.

“It’s been difficult in the past,” director of the Center for Advising and Student Achievement Gaye Digregorio said. “As an adviser, having a waitlist is a more positive message than just telling students to ‘keep trying.’”
Staff writer Joe E. Goings can be reached at

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