Registration troubles frustrate students

With registration for Winter Term underway PSU students once again face the frustration of potentially being blocked from registering for the classes they want to take.

While graduate students and seniors have been able to register for their classes since Nov. 8 and 10 respectively, freshmen aren’t allowed to register until two weeks later on Nov. 24, only two days after sophomore registration is opened.

Since the waiting list system used on is employed differently department by department, conflicts can arise, especially in credit load consideration for financial aid.

"You end up having to register for courses you aren’t going to take to get to 12 credits if you are trying to get into a class," Liza Shaw, a sophomore geology major, said. Shaw also mentioned that getting into a lab section that fits her schedule can often times be difficult because by the time she is able to register, most sections are filled.

Cicily Traudt, a senior double majoring in sociology and community development, has also encountered registration woes due to a lack of a wait list system.

"You have to go to the class and beg or they do some kind of random lottery game," Traudt said. "I had a problem with that this term. You pretty much have to beg and plead your case."

"What we have is an imperfect system," Cindy Baccar, associate director of admissions, records and financial aid said.

"If there is competition for a course, seniors are obviously closer to graduation, so they have fewer options," Baccar said.

The number of students who encounter real problems with registration every term due to these windows and varying waiting lists is unclear. According to Baccar, discovering such statistics would be a research project unto itself.

As far as waiting lists are concerned, Baccar mentioned that there were problems with the waiting list system both in its presence and absence but that many students may not understand exactly how waiting lists work.

"There are a lot of misconceptions." Baccar said.

Today, registration is opening for juniors, a week into the process as a whole. Next week just before the Thanksgiving holiday, underclassmen will be allowed to sign up for whatever courses and sections are left.