Online wait list goes into second semester, problems remain evident

Online wait list goes into second semester, problems remain evident

Bob Garcia

Illustration by Jennifer Luxton/ Visual Editor

The new online wait list feature CSUN implemented in Fall 2012 has continued to get a positive reaction from students and faculty, but some problems still remain.

For spring, 3,296 students who used the wait list were able to get into 4,402 open seats in classes, said Todd Wolfe, registrar and associate director for admissions and records.

Since the wait list’s implementation in the fall, some students and professors have complained the feature does not prioritize students who have more units.

On this issue, Associated Students President Sydni Powell said the online  system is on a “first-come, first-serve” basis until the first day of school, when the process of adding students is at the professor’s discretion.

Powell added that the A.S is aware of students’ inability to use the wait list for co-requisite courses and said they will discuss the problem.

“(The wait list) is one of the best things A.S. has advocated in the past few years,” Powell said.

Wolfe agreed the wait list has improved students’ likelihood of enrollment into classes.

“It’s a positive thing in that it allows for classes to open up more sections,” Wolfe said. “It is a win-win situation for both students and professors.”

Omar Gonzalez, a Chicano/a studies professor, said he had mixed feelings about the wait list. Although he was able to add all students to his courses, he said there is room for improvement.

“I do like the fact that it gives students a chance to get in the classes they need instead of trying to crash other classes,” Gonzalez said. “But I feel more factors should be considered in the wait list process.”

He said he hopes the wait list process is tweaked so priority is placed on students who have more units or who are graduating seniors.

“If I go down the wait list, I am looking at the graduating seniors and juniors first, not the students who are freshmen and sophomores,” Gonzalez said. “I am trying to help these students who are closer to graduating, not waste their time and expenses.”

Joseph Monterreso, a senior cinema and television arts major, expressed mixed feelings about the wait list. He used the wait list this spring for a geography lab course.

“It helps a little bit, in that it helped make adding a class a little easier,”  Monterreso said. “The professor for the class can just go off the wait list and add students from there.”

Monterreso said the only problem with the wait list was that it did not open immediately once his registration period began. He felt it was inconvenient to constantly check when the wait list was available for fully enrolled courses.

Elizabeth Adams, senior director of Undergraduate Studies, said she believes the wait list provides a big advantage for students..

“It allows for (the university) to be more specific in knowing what students want,” Adams said.

One particular issue has been brought to Adams’ attention, which dealt with students who tried to add sections of a course based on their class schedules.

The university is working to solve this problem by launching a program in Fall 2013 called “My Path to Graduation,” which is a system that will allow students to make a class schedule that fits their times of availability to attend classes, Adams said.

“There are limitations with the wait list system, and we are hoping this new program will help solve  problems students are having with fitting classes into their schedule,” Adams said.