Class registration gets on everyone’s nerves, but it’s a necessary evil

Karsyn Lemmons

The two words “class registration” have the capability to send a chill down students’ spines, bringing to mind prior struggles with the system.

UT students will soon be able to enroll in Fall 2018 classes. But with such a high student population and even higher demand for specific classes, students can be left without the courses they need to graduate on time, filling their schedules with unnecessary subjects.

Civil Engineering junior Javier Holguin says he wonders why UT doesn’t offer a different system allowing students to register for all their classes at the same time.
“After the time it takes to enroll in one class, all my other classes are filled,” Holguin said. “There should be a system that always (allows) me to enroll in multiple classes at once.”

Holguin isn’t alone in this feeling. Management information systems sophomore Saman Ali and biology sophomore Simin Maknojia agreed, saying they both transferred from schools with easier systems.

Shelby Stanfield, Vice Provost and University Registrar, said despite the fact the system has been changed over the years, there’s no actual reason why students are required to enter unique numbers individually during registration.

“There’s no specific reason for why UT hasn’t moved to a different type of system,” Stanfield said. “This is simply something UT hasn’t yet explored, although the system has been enhanced and developed over the course of the years.”

Maknojia said she believes at the very least students should be able to see how many seats are available in each class as well as how many spots become filled the closer they get to registration.

“That way if you’re trying to sign up for it, you can see how many spots will be available, even if it’s full,” Maknojia said. “If it’s a bigger class, more people are likely to drop it and that way you can have backups.”

Stanfield said supplying students with an exact number of seats in each class may do more harm than good as class sizes are subject to change during registration.

“We get this request routinely,” Stanfield said. “Though a reason this is not offered is that the number of seats is variable and changes over the course of registration as the university evaluates different factors. Being that it’s not a set number it has the potential to be misleading.”

For journalism sophomore Savannah Olson, registration just isn’t coming at the right time. With major exams around the corner, she said the addition of determining your fall course schedule adds an extra burden of stress.

“I feel really unprepared because you’re dealing with the stress of school while also figuring out what classes you need to take, what classes you’re allowed to take, and trying to build the correct schedule that doesn’t get you offtrack,” Olson said. “And you have to do all this when you’re almost preparing for finals, too.”

Stanfield said he agrees that planning the perfect time for registration can be difficult, but ultimately it’s about scheduling it during a time that is most practical for the students.

“It’s about trying to find a time that is the least intrusive,” Stanfield said. “You don’t want registration during spring break and you don’t want it too far out in the summer, so you have a limited window.”

Stanfield offered a last bit of advice to students prior to their registration date — use the tools UT provides students.

“Work with your advisors,” Stanfield said. “Check to see if you have any financial holds that can be cleared in advance and be very familiar with the degree audit system, so when the time comes, you’re prepared.”