Priority registration proves difficult for some students

Joanna Williams

Although many students have adapted to waking up at 5 a.m. to register for classes, there are some students who will not get into the classes they want no matter what time they set their alarms.

Priority registration, which takes place before the end of the semester, allows students to register ahead of each other depending on number of credit hours a student has and whether they are in good standing with the university.

University Registrar Freida Eggleton said that there are several categories of students who are allowed to register on the first day of priority registration. They include students with disabilities, Honors students, participants in Student Support Services, forensic team members and student athletes.

These groups were decided by the Council of Academic Deans.

Eggleton said that students not being able to sign-up for the classes they want is a problem that has been around for a long time. If anything was to change, the decision would have to be made by the Council of Academic Deans, she said.

“I have had a few individuals who have made comments about not getting the specific classes they need during priority registration, but that problem has persisted for a number of years and not because a certain group are allowed to have priority registration,” she said.

Paige Bickerstaff, a junior from Onsted, Mich., majoring in exercise science, said that when she woke up to register this semester, the classes that she needs for her major were full.

“I woke up at 4:50 (a.m.),” she said. “I was checking my classes, and they were all closed.

“There wasn’t one open that I needed to take.”

Bickerstaff, who has completed almost all of her general education classes, said she considered transferring schools because she has only taken one of her major classes so far.

“I already pay out-of-state tuition and to have to stay here and only take prerequisites and not classes in my major was pointless,” she said.

Bickerstaff said that she ultimately got into three of her major classes after emailing her professors and more spots opened up. She described this process a “hassle.”

Gordon Emslie, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said there are no proposals to change priority registration at the time.

The students who are able to register for classes on the first day are a small group of people, Emslie said.

“It’s unlikely that a class would be completely full because of priority registration,” he said. “I understand it takes up a few slots, but it wouldn’t fill a class.”

The groups who are able to register on the first day do so because they would be at a disadvantage considering their responsibilities, such as traveling or having stricter course requirements, Emslie said.

“It would be a great inconvenience for them,” he said.

Bickerstaff proposed a change be made to make registering more fair for everyone.

“I think all juniors should sign up on one day. All seniors should sign-up on one day,” she said. “That would make it more fair because you can’t change your name to sign up early.”