Ever really needed a class, watched the available seats in the section dwindle down to just one before you can even register, and rushed to register in the first possible moment, only to lose the spot at the last second, cursing your late registration date the whole time?
One of the more confusing things college students have to do is register, and little about the process is more mysterious than how students get the dates for when to register.
“Most of the classes I was attempting to get into were full, and that really interrupted my work scheduling,” said Robert Burns, a junior philosophy and psychology double major who registered Dec. 7.
It all has to do with how many units you have completed, said Suzy Babikan, Associate Director of Records and Graduation.
“They’ll probably pick a block of students who have between 90 and 100 units completed and they would be a student group,” she said. “Then, they would be assigned a registration appointment.”
Using these student groups, students are assigned registration appointments in descending order, Babikan said. According to policy statement records from the Faculty Senate, this method of assigning registration appointments has been in place since at least the fall 1973 semester. Following this system, students should get their worst registration date while they are sophomores. Why not as a freshman?
“There are some groups who, because of certain special needs, get priority registration,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Terry Piper.
“Percentage-wise, it’s a small percentage,” Babikan said.
Freshmen are just one group that gets to register early, during the period called priority registration, usually almost a month before those who do not get priority registration. First-time freshmen get priority registration because they have to finish certain classes within their first year at CSUN, Babikan said.
“Those students have an early registration appointment so that they can get in and register before school starts while the advisers are still on campus,” Babikan said. “If we put them in an 097 English class and they need two semesters, we don’t want them dropping that class.”
Many students who work for the university, such as athletes and Associated Students senators, also receive priority registration. A.S. senators need priority registration because of the “complexity of scheduling” associated with the position, Piper said.
“Once they are no longer on the Senate they lose that access,” he said.
Hearing-impaired students also receive priority registration, Babikan said. CSUN needs them to register early so the university can coordinate its resources accordingly, Piper said. Allowing them to register early allows the university to put more of them into the same classes. Instead of having two or three people who sign going at different times in different classes, this allows the university to have just one person who signs for several students, Babikan said.
“Getting signers is very difficult,” Babikan said. “They get paid more money elsewhere, so we have a limited number. We need to know that if three students need to take English 155 we need them in the same English class so we can use two signers instead of six.”
Not everyone is satisfied with how the system works.
“Being a junior, trying to get out of CSUN and having (to register) almost at the end of registration, it’s kind of ridiculous, especially with how limited classes are at CSUN,” said Randy Baltodano, a business and finance major whose registration date is Dec.13
Many people, however, are content with the current registration process.
“It should be priority to people who have been here longer, so if you’re a super senior you should get the earliest date possible,” said Sonja Just, a third-year CTVA major who registered Dec. 5. “They’ve been here so long, it’s not really fair that they have to struggle to get into classes when they really should be gone already.”