Working at the Information Desk in Bayramian Hall for two years allowed me to experience the good, the bad and the ugly of CSUN.
The university has undergone many physical changes, as well as, changes in its policies and procedures.
One thing that never seems to change, however, is the students’ disregard for certain policies. I work closely with admission and records, cash services and financial aid as a student assistant so I believe I am able to see both the student and administration sides of the issue.
No institution is perfect and with more than 32,000 students, CSUN is no different.
The university could stand to be more cohesive when instituting new policies because it is not uncommon for various departments to give out different information, causing students to be misinformed.
The time has come, however, for students to start taking responsibility for their education.
I am amazed every time seniors come to the Information Desk and tell me they have never used the web portal registration system because an adviser has always registered for them.
There are also students who blame their advisers for placing them in the wrong classes or not enrolling them in enough units.
If you are a student reading this and this sounds like you, you should be ashamed of yourself. You are not in high school anymore. No one is going to take you by the hand and lead you through the higher education process.
Many of the faculty and staff already have their degrees and while they have a responsibility to assist students, they are not responsible for doing things for the students.
An adviser will not automatically enroll you in 15 units or more because they do not know if you can handle the workload. Only you know your capability and if you feel you could handle more units, then take some initiative and enroll yourself in more units.
CSUN allows three weeks for students to adjust their schedules. If you enroll in a class and find for whatever reason, you do not like it, you have the freedom to drop it or swap it for a different professor. This information is not top secret. It is outlined in the schedule of classes every semester. Many students wait until after the third week of school to drop a class, then become upset when they receive a withdrawal on their transcripts.
If you think collecting signatures to drop or enroll in a class during the fourth week of school is lame, then take care of business beforehand.
There are students who have attended CSUN for more than two years and still get surprised when they are dropped from their classes for non-payment. To be unaware of university policy, as many first-time freshmen and first-semester transfer students are, is one thing. To blatantly disregard university policy because you somehow feel you should be an exception, as many graduating seniors do, is another thing.
Last summer, a student told me she registered for her classes in late June ,then went backpacking across the country. When asked why she did not submit her payment before she left, she told me she had other things on her mind. Obviously school was not a priority at that moment.
Did she really expect CSUN to hold her classes for two months without paying for them? Apparently, she did because she caused a nasty scene in the student services lobby.
Many students believe filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid means one automatically will receive financial aid from CSUN. Until you receive a notice from the Financial Aid Department or the information is posted to your web portal account, consider yourself without aid. It takes some time for financial aid to become available. Therefore, do not enroll in classes and pay for them because you will be dropped. If you apply for the installment payment plan and default on a payment, you will be dropped. You also will not qualify for the IPP in the future. Please consider yourself warned.
Whether the information comes from your major department, admission and records or another CSUN student, the responsibility to seek out the truth ultimately falls on the individual. There are people available to answer questions. When dealing with the administration, ask more than one person or ask to see the policy in writing when information is given to you.
The bottom line is, do not use ignorance as an excuse. It makes my job that much harder.