Opinion: “We deserve more” from Registrar, IT


by Ashley Smith

Last Wednesday, the sophomore class and I embarked on registering for classes for the next semester. My registration time was 4:45 p.m. because I have more credits than most of the students my age. I didn’t get registered until 6:50 p.m.

I was in the library studying for a big test I had the next day when my registration time came. I opened up my computer at 4:40 to get logged onto StormFront so I could submit my preferred list of classes exactly at 4:45. Should have been easy, right? No.

The first time I tried to get onto StormFront I wasn’t concerned that it was acting up; I haven’t been able to get in the first time every time I’ve tried to register. Usually I’d just hit “refresh” and the page would come up, no problem.

That was not the case this time. At 4:45 p.m., I looked at the clock and hit refresh for the tenth time and tried not to freak out. I kept hitting refresh over and over again, only getting a loading notice in the box where I should have been able to click “register for classes.”

At 4:50 p.m., I became frantic. Thoughts raced through my head, “what if I don’t get into the classes I need for my major?” and “is everyone experiencing this?”

At 4:55 p.m., I checked Twitter. Profanity-laced tweets about StormFront from my peers let me know I wasn’t the only one experiencing this.

At 5 p.m., I looked around the library and spotted the frustrated faces of my sophomore acquaintances violently clicking the refresh button on their computers.

At 5:10 p.m., my peers were approaching me, complaining about the trouble StormFront was causing. Soon, we were all bonding over the eternally spinning “loading” icon on our respective StormFront pages.

At 5:30 p.m., I gave up and headed back to the Pi Phi house for dinner.

At 5:40 p.m., I was notified by one of my sisters that the registrar’s office was registering students manually and was urged to go get in line.

At 5:50 p.m., I arrived at the registrar’s office to find a group of about forty students who heard the same thing I did about the registrar manually registering students. Unfortunately, immediately after I got into the building they made an announcement that they had stopped manually registering and promised StormFront would be working soon.

At 6 p.m., I was sitting on the floor in Hillman Hall thinking of everything I could be doing other than waiting for StormFront to be fixed.

At 6:25 p.m., I received an email from the registrar’s office addressing the StormFront issues, 40 minutes after The Simpsonian began covering the issue.

At 6:30 p.m. IT asked students in Hillman to log out of StormFront so they could fix the issue, saying that refreshing the page was only reversing what they were trying to do to fix the problem.

Finally, at 6:50 p.m., two hours and five minutes after my registration time, I registered for my classes with IT’s permission. I was unable to get into two of the necessary classes for my multimedia journalism major.

The registrar’s office and IT department did not handle this situation well.

Communication is extremely important in a situation like registering.

The registrar’s office should have sent an email notifying students that their office would be open late in order to help with registration in case students ran into trouble. Their normal hours can be easily found on their website but there was no notice that they were going to be open late; I had to find out through word of mouth.

They should have notified students through email the moment they were experiencing difficulties so students wouldn’t panic, like my peers and I did.

They shouldn’t have allowed students to manually register through their office and then decide to stop doing it. As I mentioned before, I came in with more credits than a lot of my peers and therefore, was able to get an earlier registration time. This benefit becomes obsolete when they decide to register anyone who asks after they start experiencing problems. A student with fewer credits than me could have found out about this perk through word of mouth and successfully registered for one of the classes I needed, even though that spot was rightfully mine at 4:45 p.m.

They should have had a contingency plan in case of this situation (which isn’t so far-fetched, as a multitude of students logging onto one webpage at a time could be cause for problems.) It’s just common sense.

Every single college has registration and has a plan for registering their students successfully, so we shouldn’t have experienced such difficulty in such a common practice.

And finally, the IT department should have used what they learned on Wednesday and worked all day to make sure it wouldn’t happen again on Thursday. Unfortunately, the first-year students encountered the same issue the next day.

There are ways this could have been avoided. The students were victims of poor planning and execution.

I propose the registrar’s office has a do-over registration time period, for freshmen and sophomores, after they fix everything with StormFront. I deserve to have been able to register at 4:45 p.m. and so did other students who worked hard to come in with more credits. I deserve more from the school I’m paying tens of thousands of dollars to come to each year. We deserve more.