posted 2012-12-18 19:01:56

Ho Ho Ho’s And Registration Woes, ‘Tis The Season To Register For Classes!

The problem with Hunter’s online registration system 

Lara Berlyne

Staff Writer

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The city is dressed for the holidays and shoppers are fighting one another to buy presents... on sale! Just one thing stands between Hunter students and total holiday perfection—the grueling registration process for the Spring 2013 semester. Dreading the assigned date and time emailed to us, we spend hours picking out classes we need and which we simply want to take, knowing from experience that we will be disappointed. Despite weeks of planning, we will inevitably be stuck with a schedule full of classes we don’t need or want to take, and in the next few months will be deciding which of the undesirable classes to “drop like it’s hot” before we’re faced with a penalty on our transcripts. Santa, if Hunter students had one wish this holiday season, it would be for a new and improved registration process!

Hunter administrative staff have praised their own online registration system to no avail during pre-registration group advising sessions, fully and foolishly trusting internet technology over the classic printed course catalog which one was able to peruse without the technical complication of an online platform. I remember them joyously celebrating their degree audit for graduation, lovingly nicknamed “DIG.” DIG was intended to outline the requirements for graduation that a specific student would need, suggest courses that fulfill General Education Requirements and required course-loads for specific majors. DIG is supposed to seamlessly link the user from their audit to an available schedule of classes. DIG and the online registration catalog on ESIMS were designed to be a match made in Hunter Heaven, supposedly putting an end to having a human being’s assistance and advice and putting a tangible catalog to an early grave.

However, they failed to mention their system’s flaws at this group advising session. Upon my first use of the DIG system, the flaws were easily apparent. When checking classes that fulfill a certain requirement, more than half of them were what I called “Trojan Horses”— classes that appeared interesting, only to disappoint when clicked on because of their lack of existence. Why tease the student body in such a way? If a class isn’t offered, why should it even be listed? If a class did in fact exist, I tried not to get my hopes up, because most of the time if the classes I wanted were listed, they were not available in the semester I was registering for. These occurrences are not a rarity; they are common, and they try the patience of those attempting to register. If Hunter is pushing this system, it should be as functional and helpful as it was advertised to be.

Another qualm I have with the registration system at Hunter College is not the fact that we are given an assigned date and time to sign up for classes, but the fact that the registration date given is always an undesirable one, which gets irritating very quickly. It also seems that all of the students are to register for classes at that date, further lowering the already-slim chances of getting into almost-full classes. Registration is the most stressful time because of this fact, making the easy–one-two-three–type-in-the-codes-and-go-about-your-life expectation null and void.

After hovering over the computer watching the minutes, seconds and milliseconds pass until your ESIMS registration date officially arrives and you are then allowed to “easily” register, the codes that you had analyzed to the point of exhaustion never seem to work. You, disgruntled pupil, must try only to suppress the shrieks of anxiety felt when ESIMS announces that these courses need prerequisites. The enraged student within you wants to scream at their computer at the fact that no prerequisites were mentioned on the DIG report, or in the online course catalog so highly praised. Because the student body isn’t dealing with a human being; no, rather we’re dealing with an insensitive computer program that couldn’t care less that we need these courses to graduate. You can kiss that course you need goodbye, and watch it get filled by the throngs of other students fighting for the few available classes left. You’re forced to frantically try other codes to see what works, only to wind up with a schedule that only Lucifer himself would be proud of.

At the end of the registration process, if you’re alone in your own home or dorm, I personally grant you permission to cry it out—go ahead and throw a full-blown tantrum. Upon not getting into any of the classes you want or need to take, it’s necessary to let out your feelings—not doing so may result in cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, many students left in school during their registration date will be left to mope around, feeling their eyes flood with tears, as they sit alone in the skywalks wondering if it was possible to punch in the four digit codes any faster. There should be a bank of student thoughts after registration, one of which I would contribute from last semester: How will I survive in a Russian language class?

Manhattan is in full holiday swing, begging everyone to break open their wallets and giving hearts to find what material possessions their loved ones want most in this world. If Santa’s existence were more than mere fairy tale, he would grant Hunter Students a better registration experience, one that doesn’t bring the student body dread and put a damper on the holiday season. Santa would ensure that the entire mass of students was not to register in one day, that the experience wouldn’t be entirely online, and that the DIG system would be updated to exclude the Trojan Horses that frustrated both myself and many other victims of a pathetic registration system. Keep your spirits bright and let don’t let the worries of registration put a damper on your chilly December nights!