Yawning, students face registration changes

For the past week and a half, Geneseo students have been setting their alarm clocks earlier than ever to nab coveted class seats. With registration periods starting as early as 7 a.m., it is a radical change for veteran students.

College registrar Delbert Brown said that in the past, when registration began after 3 p.m., many students were frustrated that advisors were gone and the records office was closed. "We received a lot of student complaints," he said.

He also pointed out that some students who had classes during their registration time would skip class in order to secure that they would have prime class selection. Brown said that the primary purpose of changing to the earlier time is "not to get people up at 7 [a.m], but mainly to give them the whole day."

The new system ensures that students who run into unexpected problems when registering will have the entire day to resolve the issue, making it easier for problems to be fixed before the next registration group begins.

Brown estimated that between 200-300 students register per day, with "at most 85" at any specific time slot. The registrar's office is tracking students' use of Knightweb and, so far, the majority of students have registered between 7 and 8 a.m.

The change to an earlier registration time was the result of responses to student feedback as well as meetings with department chairs, who overwhelmingly agreed that morning registration would be better for students as well as faculty advisors. So far, the only complaint received has been from a senior participating in student teaching, but Brown noted that students who are affected by the registration time receive top class selection priority and should not be worried.

Student opinion varies on the now early-morning registration hours. "It's a little more inconvenient," said junior Jake Goldberg.

Freshman Jay Choi disagreed, saying, "It's a good idea because the kids who really want the classes will have that opportunity."

Freshman Kenneth Sa offered a more balanced view. "If I wake up, then yeah, it's good," he said. "If not, then no."

Currently, the registration date for individual students is dependent on how many credit hours they have earned. This policy is "definitely not perfect," Brown said. "It has no direct relation to where you are in the graduation process."

As SUNY policy allows students to transfer credits whether or not they are related to their major, many freshmen enter Geneseo with up to 30 credits.

Brown explained that the policy that gives registration preference to students with more credit-hours was originally developed because of the limited bandwidth of the registration system; it was feared that if too many students registered at once, the system might crash. In August, however, the college opened the Add/Drop period to the entire student body for the first time, and the system was able to handle the traffic. In light of this, the college will consider opening registration at the same time to larger groups, potentially entire classes.

This spring, the Registrar's Office will meet with Student Association to discuss the current registration policies and ask for input regarding future improvements. Dean Susan Bailey echoed Brown's commitment to working toward meeting student concerns and encourages students to offer feedback on the process.