In an attempt to make scheduling easier for faculty and students, registration for the fall 2014 semester is nearly one month earlier than in previous years.
The earlier registration and faculty advising meetings have caused added stress for some students, especially during the time when midterms are taking place.
“I think it’s a little frustrating because I feel like we just started this semester, and I have midterms coming up next week, and I’m already having to think about classes,” sophomore Reed Nothwang said.
The adviser meetings are also earlier this year because students tend to put them off until the last minute.
“What has happened with a lot of the departments in previous years is that advising by email has been very frequent because students have been waiting until the last minute or they have limited advising hours. The school’s goal is to get as many students through [meetings] before they register,” said Jennifer Marshall, a communication professor who is advising 51 students this year.
While earlier registration can add stress and distraction to students and faculty in the mid-semester grind, we might as well get it done now. While it may be hectic to search for classes, we are eventually going to have to do it anyways.
The earlier registration does have some benefits, for example, the students who will be registering for both summer and fall will only need to have one meeting with their adviser.
“We thought it might be more efficient because in the past, students registered for summer, then they registered for spring,” said Joan Griffin, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, who advises students, as well.
“So sometimes that meant two adviser meetings, and people were not thinking holistically about their plans, and this perhaps makes sure that students can think about that entire package of possibilities. It makes more sense instead of having to register twice…to just to do it all at one time,” Griffin said.
The earlier registration also gives administrators more time to add sections of classes that are in high demand compared to before when they had to scramble to add sections at the last minute.
“[Early registration] also helps me know what courses students want to take,” Griffin said.
“For instance, if we see that we have 40 people on a waitlist…then there’s time to get another section before students leave, and so students can be assured sometime before the summer that they are going to be accommodated, so we can actually tailor the schedule better to students’ needs.”
It is natural for students to be surprised and frustrated by the earlier dates this year, but once they finish registering and get over the stress that comes with hunting for classes, they will realize that early registration is not only easier, but more beneficial for them.
Despite all the potential benefits early registration can bring, only time will tell if the decision to move up registration dates will prevail.
“This is the first time we’ve done this, and any time you do something for the first time, there’s bound to be a little bit of [surprise]. I think by the time we do this a second year or a third year, this will just seem natural,” Griffin said.
Published March 12, 2014