Over the past week, I have heard scores of complaints from fellow students regarding the new registration system. I am sure that everyone who reads this paper knows exactly what I'm talking about: too many students, not enough seats, not enough class sections and the occasional technical glitch that often spells doom to a student's planned schedule.
We all fear not getting into the classes we need or want because it forces us to re-evaluate our path to our expected graduation date time and time again. This is particularly true for current upperclassmen.
I, personally, had trouble last week signing up for classes with which I should have had no trouble at all, and I will be a senior next year. Students have taken to Facebook with complaints of all different types. Technical glitches prevented them from registering for any of their desired classes until hours after registration began – a problem that often leads to none of the classes being available. Departments put holds on classes necessary for both majors and minors to complete their program of study (I was a victim of this type of hold last week as well). Students needed to fill their entire schedule with temporary placeholder "classes" in order to be considered a full-time student with absolutely no guarantee of an overload into a required class.
The new system complicates the mess even further: Students have one given day to register followed by a couple of days in mid-April, and then they must wait until early August's registration free-for-all for another chance at getting the classes they need. This does not help upperclassmen and poses no tangible benefit for incoming freshmen, who register during orientation in July.
I am not the only one who believes the system needs to be drastically changed – from the Registrar's Office to the individual departments – in order for the system to work efficiently and with as little hassle as possible. There are possibilities that must be explored in order to ease the stress of registration on students.
Geneseo prides itself on its small class sizes, but the desire to retain these is not a good enough reason to block first-year non-majors from taking a 100-level course in psychology, communication or any other department. There can be a balance between larger class sizes and the quality education of which Geneseo has been proud for decades.
Inter-departmental communication must also be drastically improved; I cannot understand why the international relations department accepts a 300-level communication class for its "war and peace" track when the communication department steadfastly refuses to allow non-majors access to its upper-level classes. Departments need to discuss at length which classes can cross disciplines, and how many non-majors can take these classes, instead of refusing access to all non-majors. I am only attacking the tip of the iceberg, but The Lamron has other articles to publish that need their own space.
Geneseo is one of the premier liberal arts schools in the Northeast. We are, however, rapidly approaching the point where "undeclared" students are becoming extinct – and with them will disappear the opportunity for the well-rounded education so central to the liberal arts. A liberal arts education is about exploration of all the opportunities given to us as college students so we can make the best decision as to what we want to do for the rest of our lives. The current system in regards to classes is detrimental to the power of a liberal arts institution of our caliber.
It's time for all of Geneseo to wake up and actively work together to cure us of the insidious plague of inefficiency and selfishness in our class registration system. It's time for the departments to think about all the students of Geneseo, and not only their majors. It's time for the students to get talking and tell their professors and their department chairs that they're sick and tired of being closed out of classes they need or want. It's time for the administration to take a more active role in bringing the departments together to facilitate the change necessary to ensure a quality liberal arts education for every single student.