Every semester, there comes a time when you have to register for next semester’s classes. Also, there will always be a large portion of students whose hearts drop when they find out that they are the last to register, solely because of their last name. The system of registering by the initial of your last name is as random as the housing lottery. I believe other factors such as involvement need to be considered when determining registration priority rather than only basing it off one’s last name initial.

For starters, not everyone falls under the alphabetic registration process. Athletes get priority picking regardless of their last name. However, some only get this priority picking when they are considered “in-season.” I do not think that it is fair for the athletes to only work their schedules around their classes when they are considered in-season. I am not a Division I athlete, but I know that they are student-athletes all year round. Their practices do not stop once their season is over; they keep going. Therefore, they need flexibility to adjust their sport schedule with their class schedule, whether they’re practicing or not. A lot of students have heavy time-consuming commitments like sports or a job. These year round commitments should be considered in the registration process by basing it off of how involved each student is.

Currently, involvement is not even considered; nothing is. The rest of us are categorized as either A-D, E-K, L-R or S-K. The system rotates the letters so that eventually, it happens to be your lucky semester to pick first. But I don’t think that this system is fair. For instance, a nursing student gets lucky with first priority picking for their second semester of sophomore year, which involves clinicals while another nursing student might have already had their first priority picking chance already for a semester that was considerably easier. Now the second individual gets the short end of the stick for the hard second semester of sophomore year because they already had first priority picking for an easier semester.

Registration should not go by rotations of last names because registering first for a certain semester might be more advantageous than another. Administration is not able to accommodate this themselves because they do not know when each student has his or her difficult semester. However, if the system was based off involvement, students themselves would be responsible for getting involved enough to have priority and choose a flexible schedule for a difficult semester.

Even if you believe that there is no difference in the difficulty of your semesters, the system is still flawed. There could be a lot more students in the A-D category than the E-K category. If that is the case, when A-D registers first, E-K has less of a chance getting into the classes they want with more people ahead of them. Switch it around and have E-K registering first next semester, A-D does not have as many people to worry about taking their classes like E-K did.

There is no perfect way to register for classes. No matter what system Fairfield chooses, someone is going to be unhappy. Personally, I believe we can do a lot better than solely basing it off of a person’s last name initial and instead, base it off of involvement. I wish it was as easy as registering everyone at the same time in a “on your mark, get set, go” type of system. However, Fairfield’s virtual head would be spinning.

Many schools base registration off number of credits. The more credits you have, the sooner you register. Instead of this method, I can imagine the system-based registration derived from involvement. Someone who is extremely involved in sports, clubs, or work should have priority picking over someone who is not involved at all. Involvement does not necessarily have to be on campus. It is understandable that many people have internships or jobs elsewhere and that involvement needs to be considered. I suppose involvement can also be measured by how time consuming each activity is. The more time consuming your involvement is, the more flexibility you should have for registration. Those who do not like to get involved might not agree, but getting involved is extremely important and looks good on a resume. Although there is no fool-proof method, the system of registration could improve. I believe a system like this would encourage a lot more involvement at Fairfield and would help us figure out how to manage our time better.

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