Registration rigmarole needs rethinking

By Dominique Juarez

LOGOS NEWS EDITOR

Another registration day came and went on Friday, Nov. 16, no doubt leaving the student body irritated, disappointed, and not actually registered for essential classes.

Myself especially. Although next semester is my last, I still consider myself a “candidate” for graduation because it seems there is always one issue or another with my account to where I find myself frantically calling into work, missing class and spending half a day jumping through hoops in order to resolve it.

As a “candidate” for the spring semester graduation, I have a lot of registration-day experience to validate my above statement. Even now, more than two weeks after registration day, I am still in the process of registering for my classes next semester, through faults none of my own.

Generally speaking, I am just appalled by not only the lack of organization within the entire registration process, but also the lack of customer service towards the fuel of the university itself: our student body.

Without the students there would not be a university. One would think a student’s concern about her or his personal account would be handled in a well-mannered and timely fashion. One would think a student could register each semester for any necessary courses without all the hassle. One would think the one day all the students have to register, there would be no system glitches that would later cause a constant, massive line at both the Registrar and Business offices. One would think a university charging each student some of the highest tuition costs in the state would cater to the student body so no sort of system or office errors would be able to hinder the one and only reason the students are here in the first place: to graduate.

Unfortunately for us all, this is not the case. The commercialized version of this university as a “Degree of Difference” is only achieved because we crave a “difference” of environment; away from the hassle that came along with earning the degree itself. I myself can attest to that, between all the “lost” paperwork, unwritten guidelines and snail-paced work ethics amongst the staff, it’s no wonder only 43 percent of students graduate within six years from this place. It brings up a question of “Why am I coming here?” to apparently several hundred students’ minds, especially when a simple transfer to St. Mary’s or Trinity provides a 60-80 percent graduation rate within those same six years.

What it comes down to is, again, the lack of customer service and care for the student body. Why pay all this money just to have a temporary worker accept my very important graduation application, tell me everything is fine and then receive a phone call the morning of the deadline from a full-time worker informing me my application is not complete? Or to turn in the last of my necessary community service hours and be told that although my service is within the guidelines of the form, it still won’t be acceptable just because they say so. Or to have a balance for the amount of health insurance I did not request and asked to waive, hinder me from registering, and be told I have to pay it anyway because they refuse to waive the charge although I have my own personal insurance and have no proof of the university ever providing me with insurance, aside from the charge on my account.

When is enough, enough? Where does one draw the line? Clearly, the desire for the so-called “Degree of Difference” from this place drives a hard bargain to students who can possibly ruin their financial assistance or graduation time by transferring. Achieving any degree is always a tough balancing act between money, classes and personal life, but attending this university makes it a balancing act between money (of course), paperwork issues and actually being allowed in the classes.

That is one thing I would like to commend my adviser and the professors within my major department for. They are always on top of helping out every one of us with class concerns. One can only dream of the rest of the university staff to work as diligently as they do.

The process of registration, no doubt created by the university staff, is very much the root of many student concerns, the reason for the low university-wide graduation rate and the cause of the enormous amount of debt owed by the students who do make it out alive. Yet, tuition still rises each year, more students are admitted than there is space for and parking garages take more time to build than entire apartment complexes on Broadway do. Concerns of already admitted students are being pushed aside by university-benefiting projects instead of student-body benefiting projects. But that’s a whole other story.

I’ll continue to consider myself a “candidate” for graduation next semester. Wish me luck! And good luck to you all as well.

 

E-mail Juarez at dojuarez@student.uiwtx.edu

 

Dominique Juarez

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