Registration system frustrates students, in need of reform

Brandi Doyal, Views Editor

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The following is an opinion article and opinion articles do not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

In the whirlwind of exams and classes, I found myself sitting behind my computer once again frustrated with the schedule of classes. I didn’t know which classes to take, and worried about overloading myself with writing projects and group activities. I spent countless nights texting friends asking about professors and course loads before I made my final schedule, and one thing became apparent to me. Reform is needed.

Students have worked to bring these issues to the attention of administration and their representatives. Last year, current junior Gaetano Trachtenberg wrote a petition calling for registration reform that received around 1,000 student signatures. He brought this petition to the Undergraduate Student Government, which has been looking into the matter since. 

USG introduced legislation during its last meeting held on Nov. 4 to address registration flaws. Registrar Colette Raphel said there has been discussion on the topic between the Office of the Provost, USG and the Office of the Registrar.

Too often, students have no idea what a course entails when they read course descriptions that are either vague or nonexistent. Word of mouth is the only source students have when planning their schedules. There is nowhere to find out the workload of the course so students can consider if they can feasibly commit to the course’s requirements. The registration website should include more information on the number of tests, papers and group projects within a course. 

Students must also rely on the hit or miss website ratemyprofessor.com for teacher reviews. Each student has a different learning style, which makes some teachers better than others for a particular student.

Tulane has its own professor rating system, but the site is almost unusable. Students find it hard to navigate and often the information is outdated and insignificant. 

Making more information available to students would increase satisfaction and reduce class withdrawals later in the semester.

While issues surrounding registration have gained attention, input from the majority of the student body is not considered. USG should hold a smaller discuss this issue with its constituents to see what opinions they have to offer. The administration could also benefit from following a similar model.

The classroom is vital to the education process and no one can understate its importance. Fixing these problems by requiring more in-depth course descriptions, course syllabi and teacher reviews would change the entire dynamic of registration. Only students have the ability to bring something different to the table, leading to better, well-rounded reform.

Brandi Doyal is a sophomore in the Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached for comment at [email protected]