Tori Fisher / Gavel Media

Diatribe: Class Registration

The Gavel’s Diatribe acts as the satirical medium for short rants over topics ranging from complete triviality to utmost importance.

When I first encountered Boston College’s UIS class registration system, I was so confused. I remember walking into my first advising session a year and a half ago and being told to take classes that I’d never heard of before. I left my advisor’s office with more questions than answers. Really, what do Perspectives and Courage to Know mean, and why was my advisor so adamant that I take them? Why did upperclassmen keep telling me they wished they could take my spot in an Enduring Questions course? Was it really necessary to make three backup schedules?

The day I lost my UIS virginity is a blur. I remember walking into my registration session during Orientation 7 knowing I was one of the last people at BC to register for classes—or at least, that’s what my Orientation Leader had told me. I walked into Bapst Library eager to register and caught my first glimpse of UIS.

I thought I had entered a time machine and was seeing the first computer program. I thought maybe someone was going to teach me how to code. I thought maybe it was a practical joke. I could have never imagined that a school claiming to be cutting-edge with state-of-the-art facilities would have such an outdated class registration system.  

To my surprise, none of the classes I wanted were open. I thought there might have been a mistake, but now, having experienced the frustration of class registration multiple times, I have become immune to the disappointment. I am no longer a naive freshman. Becoming a seasoned UIS user means knowing that you probably won’t get your first, second, or even third choice of courses. At least that’s what it means for me, as I have been extremely unlucky with my pick times.

As students, our course schedule determines much of our academic lives; not only will a good pick time allow us to design our week but it could also be the difference between a passing and a failing grade. Why can’t BC design a course registration system that does not screw over its students? Instead of randomizing the pick times, I propose a rotating schedule of pick times so that every student has an equal opportunity to get the classes they want.

Nevertheless, BC continues to use its outdated and unfair class registration system. I have picked up a couple helpful hints for getting into good classes despite having a bad pick time, and I will leave you with some advice.

First, you are going to want to carry your phone and laptop, open and ready, with you everywhere you go—to class, Mac, and even the bathroom. You don’t want to risk missing that long-awaited notification from EagleScribe that the History core you desperately need is open. A few odd looks from your peers are nothing compared to obtaining that coveted seat.

Second, it is important to hound professors to let you into their sections. Email them persistently, go to their classes and office hours, and, if that doesn’t work, get down on your knees and beg. Lose your dignity if it means you’ll be taking Calculus at 11 a.m. as opposed to 8. It’s worth the few extra hours of sleep a week, I promise.

And last, it is important to remember there is always the chance that you will be blessed with a good pick time next semester. We pay 70k annually for our education; we deserve to take the classes we want. But until then, we must suffer through the occasional 8 a.m. and navigate the outdated software of UIS.