Registration process a bit silly

BY SAMUEL CLEARY | MAY 01, 2012 6:30 AM

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I've got a bone to pick with my adviser: Let me register for classes when I'm ready to register. As a sophomore, I've been through the process five times now, and it never seems to go smoothly.

The issue is that registration requires authorization, and the process seems useless and superfluous. Students are given a date and time, and in order to access the registration platform at that time, each individual must make an appointment with her or his adviser in order to be authorized. It all seems a bit silly to me.

Finals are fast approaching, and amid the chaos, students have to drop what they're doing to make appointments, visit their advisers, and ultimately listen as someone gives them a modest earful of information widely available on the Internet.

And then, the click: OK, you're all set to register.

We're adults, right? We're paying to take the classes we want to take, to get a degree we want to get. UI is working for us — So why are there so many hoops to jump through?

Students should be assigned a date and be permitted to register at that time: no questions asked. The responsibility should be wholly on the shoulders of the student.

As students, UI humors us with rhetoric of adulthood, of responsibility, of self determination: And yet, we're still at its whim. If students feel that they need assistance or have questions regarding their standing, course possibilities, or degree audits, it's their responsibility to visit their advisers.

But the vast majority of us are responsible, independent students. We know what classes we want to take and what credits we need. We know how many hours we have left until graduation. We know how to select classes. We don't need parent figures to issue reassurances or iterate widely known information. Mandating adviser meetings prior to registering is absurd, both a waste of the student's time, and a waste of the adviser's.

If students need to be continually reminded of their standing, intention, and place at the university, they shouldn't be here. The purpose of advising is lost when there's no vested reason to advise; that is, if students are well-informed and prepared, meetings are a waste of time.

The problem is especially troubling when it comes to the fact that adviser meetings (along with registration) occur in the weeks leading up to finals. This is a stretch of time in which students are bogged down by final essays, projects, and study sessions. Good students know what they are going to take for the following semester weeks before they're able to register; meetings segment and disturb the fluidity of the already hectic final month of school.

Most advising offices offer a waiver — a slip that students can sign permitting advisers to authorize registration without meetings. Yet even this requires extraneous effort on the behalf of the students.

Advising offices should re-evaluate and reorganize the process by which students can register for classes. All students should be given dates on ISIS and notifications via email that they are encouraged to meet with advisers prior to their registration dates if that need so arises in the form of questions or curricular concerns. Otherwise, registration should be the whole and sole responsibility of the students.

That students need to be authorized to register for classes by their advisers, let alone meet with them, is to a degree insulting. It discredits the interest and wariness of the student and distracts both parties — advisers and advisees — from their respective principal purposes at UI.

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