Baruch must ease class selection

On Oct. 29, Baruch College undergraduate students participated in the annual "Registration Games," in which students compete for classes to take in the spring 2019 semester. In one corner are the VIP students who have priority registration, and in the other corner, the regular admission students who do not have priority registration. Clearly, one group had an advantage.

However, this should not be the case; every student deserves to have an equal opportunity to get into the classes of their choosing. It is up to Baruch to make registration a smoother and less stressful experience for all students, regardless of their classification or involvement in clubs or athletics.

More often than not, students have difficulty signing up for classes because they either don’t know how to use CUNYfirst or they aren’t sure which classes to take. Baruch should host two workshops per semester that would show students how to register for classes and also help them become familiar with DegreeWorks.

In addition, Baruch should also make sure that DegreeWorks is updated on a weekly basis. There have been times when DegreeWorks does not list all the classes students need to take in order to complete their degree and graduate on time. As a result, graduation dates are delayed and students take more classes even after they were already supposed to have graduated. Even so, the class times available are inconvenient, especially for students who work.

Approximately a month before registration begins, academic advisers send out emails that recommend students make appointments with them in order to discuss their classes for the following semester. However, these meetings are not mandatory, even though they should be. Talking to a professional about what classes to take is better than consulting DegreeWorks, which has proven to be unreliable at times.

Baruch should also increase class sizes for certain courses that get filled up immediately. This will allow more students to sign up for classes and will also prevent long waitlists. Moreover, Baruch should not wait until the day of or a few days before registration to put holds on students' CUNYfirst accounts. This is an inconvenience, especially for students who do not have priority registration. Students will be forced to pay a bill on the day of, and even so, this takes a few days to process, depending on the payment method. They must wait before the hold is cleared in order to enroll in classes.

Since technology is not always reliable, Baruch should consider making registration forms in which students fill out their class choices by hand with their major and minor listed on top. In this way, students and faculty will know what classes they have to take that go toward their major and minor, therefore reducing the dependence on DegreeWorks.

For the students who do not have priority registration, they are forced to take classes at very odd times, sometimes on a Saturday, Sunday or very early in the morning. Public transportation is very unreliable, especially on the weekends. It is an unrealistic expectation that students who work or have extracurricular activities will find time during the weekend to attend classes.

Baruch profits off this registration system. If students can’t enroll in classes, they are forced to take classes over the winter, summer or take extra classes during the fall and spring semesters. These summer and winter classes are not free; one credit is worth $285. Therefore, a three-credit course costs $855. This is expensive and some students can't afford it. If Baruch wants to maintain its reputation as a four-year college, it must change the way its students enroll in classes.

-Brandon Tingle

Financial Mathematics ‘21