Friday, November 30, 2007

The Nightmare that is Registration

I should probably preface this with the fact that I really do like Northwestern, otherwise I wouldn't be going there. I should also say that I'm pretty sure no one likes their new system. I know there are going to be people who disagree with me on that, but seriously, I don't care. I will stick by the fact that, deep down, no one likes it.

And I don't think that registration should be this hard.

I mean, I realize that I am not at NWC this semester, which is definitely a factor in why this registration has been the hardest I've had thus far in my entire college career (including PSEO), but I am also definite in the fact that my not being there is not the main factor in this nightmare that has been my registration process.

Yes, I had holds on my account that deterred me from registering on time. But it would not tell me online what those holds were. And being two hours behind MN time, I was never able to call NWC when the offices were open. I had a financial hold and a emergency contact hold (I later found out). And I wasn't really informed what these holds were before so I could take care of them. Apparently NWC has switched to a new system for informing people of their financial status too, something via e-mail, but I never received anything about that, then one day got a call (three days before the payment deadline, mind you) that I had a hold on my account because of the balance still due. Now, in all fairness to NWC, they really did a bang up job helping me resolve all of that, so I have to give them some credit.

My other hold had to do with my emergency contact info not being updated. I suppose if you count the e-mail I received telling me my communter information had not been updated, then, yes, they did inform me of this issue. I am not, however, a commuter, and attempted to e-mail housing to let them know this and to figure out what it was I needed to do about that, but I never got anything back from them. Then I couldn't register because of the hold. I suppose it is my fault for not constantly following up on this, but, as I mentioned before, I have a bit of a challenge when trying to get ahold of people because of the time difference and really, I think that it isn't too much to ask for them to e-mail me back...what do I know, though, right?

And that was just the issues with the holds. I also had trouble ACTUALLY registering. I tried to register for Mass Media and Society, something I have to take to graduate. It said that I didn't meet all the pre-reqs, which I did. I also tried to register for a biology class I'm taking. They said the instructor had to give me clearance, which she already had. I also had planned to take a specific Intro to Marketing course. When I went to register for it, the time and professor that I had planned on had completely changed. What's the point, exactly, of telling students they are going to offer a certain class at a certain time with a certain professor when they are not, in fact, going to do that at all? So now my schedule is a bit messed up and I have to either rearrange everything and pick a different class to take or give in and take the class at a time I don't want to take it with a professor yet to be determined (and, let's face it, that's never a good sign).

And shouldn't the registrar's office know that in order to take Comp II, you have to pass the ECE?

I realize that it is not necessarily the new system's fault and that most of these problems mentioned could have still happened with the old system. And I also realize that the system is new and therefore has a lot of kinks to be worked out, but serioulsy, to quote a professor, the system is just "wacky."


Okay, I feel a little better. Thanks for listening.

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