CUNYfirst fails to provide fair registration to students

Registration for the Spring semester opened at Baruch College on Oct. 31. Class registration marks a difficult point in many students’ calendars as they try to navigate inscrutable requirements for their majors, slow bureaucratic processes and a lackluster registration system operating within CUNYfirst.

Semester after semester, students struggle to register for the classes they need in order to graduate, oftentimes mistakenly taking classes that they think are requirements when they are not. This is largely due to the current advisement system. Students outside of the honors programs are not required to meet with an academic advisor during their time at Baruch. As a result, many students hold a “do-it-yourself” attitude toward fulfilling requirements for their majors. This leads to mass confusion, with some students having to stay extra semesters or change majors entirely as they realize that they have been taking electives instead of major requirements or have been taking the wrong classes. However, students sometimes wait for hours in order to simply receive an advisement appointment, a hazard many students are willing to endure in order to pursue the help of an advisor.

The bureaucracy surrounding class registration can also put a strain on students. Prerequisites for classes are not always clearly marked or defined without an advisement appointment, leading to nasty surprises for some students when their registration times arrive. Even after prerequisites are discovered, students are often forced to travel from department to department within Baruch, seeking permission to take certain classes. These processes can be extremely slow, especially when a large volume of students are all trying to accomplish the same goal, leading to back-ups and students not being able to register for the classes they need at their appointed times.

CUNYfirst is infamous among students for its host of technical issues and confusing class listings. The website will frequently freeze or crash during registration time, leading to many students being unable to register during their appointed time slot. Its layout is not user-friendly, with new students reporting difficulty in navigating the course selection and registration screens without someone who is already knowledgeable about the site. Course listings themselves are often unhelpful, sometimes being listed without an assigned staff member or even a time, leading to many inconvenient schedules.

Baruch needs to strive for efficiency when it comes to scheduling for classes. Students should be able to make advisement appointments painlessly without jumping through hoops to take required classes. Registration time should be a less stressful process for CUNY students.