For more than 10 years, the University has used a registration system that favors seniors and places all other students on the same level. The current system gives preferential registration queues to seniors since they need to take specific classes in a limited amount of time to graduate. This system, however, ignores the time element that also affects other upperclassmen. With freshmen, sophomores and juniors registering on the same alphabetical list, or queue, the registration system allows many freshmen to register for classes up to two weeks before their non-senior upperclassmen. It would be not only to students’ advantage, but also to the University’s, to create a registration system more accommodating to sophomores and juniors.
The seats that freshmen fill often oust sophomores and juniors from necessary classes. Freshmen have at least three more years to complete all of their requirements, and the order in which they choose to take them is arbitrary. Sophomores and juniors have a limited amount of time to take specific classes, often in sequential order. Many students spend the last quarters of their college careers completing general requirements, finishing up classes that they couldn’t get into earlier. The same pressure just doesn’t apply to freshmen.
A freshman who can’t get into a class to work toward completion of the cultural diversity requirement has the freedom to take a citizenship and public ethics class, an international perspectives class or a class in their major instead. Their options are virtually unlimited, and the luxury of time is theirs. Sophomores, on the other hand, have generally begun course work in their major, and juniors are working toward completion of a specific major sequence. These students don’t always have the option of finding an alternate open class to complete another leftover requirement, as the requirements left are minimal.
A hierarchical registration system in which seniors have the first few days to register, followed by juniors, then sophomores and then freshmen would help students graduate earlier. This would alleviate the five-year burden that has become the butt of student jokes. Upperclassmen would be virtually assured that they could take the necessary classes when they need them, and wouldn’t be forced to linger an extra quarter or two in order to complete a few unfinished classes. Further, students would better be able to identify with their class standing. Many students pay little attention to whether they have earned enough credits to be a sophomore or a junior. If class standing carried registration advantages, more students would pay attention to and care about their status.
Though notable advancements such as online registration and extended registration queues have been made at the University in recent years, the registration system is not without problems. The University’s intent is to help seniors graduate, not to place juniors and sophomores on the same level as freshmen. That, however, is exactly what this system is doing. While a pecking order never pleases everyone, it is an appropriate option in this situation. The time and money that sophomores and juniors have devoted to their education have earned them the right to register before newcomers.