By Adam Duke
The registration process at Canisius is quite simple and, on paper, very practical. Students log in to my.canisius.edu, go to the registration tab, enter their alternate PIN, and type in the CRN numbers corresponding to the courses they want to take.
Ultimately, this should be a smooth process. Unfortunately, so many students are logged into the website at one time that many are unable to log in. Others encounter frozen screens or are logged off, regardless of whether they are on or off campus. This is a problem because several students, particularly freshmen and sophomores, are unable to take the classes they want when they want to take them, depending on how many students have already been pushed in.
Personally, I have registered three times. I have had to email a professor asking to be pushed into their class each of these three times. Luckily for me, the professors were all gracious enough to offer to force me into their classes anyway, but others are not so lucky.
Upon my registration this past weekend, I decided to research how a similar school sets up registration and how smooth the process is there. I asked a student at Niagara University how it’s run at his school. He said that registration is done in one week, with honors students and athletes registering at 10 p.m. each night and all other students with the corresponding amount of credit hours registering at 11p.m. The week runs from Monday through Thursday, and rather than receiving a PIN number, advisors make registration available to eligible students the day of.
The advantage to having honors students and athletes register earlier, aside from giving honors students another incentive to stay in the program and rewarding athletes for playing for Canisius, is clearing up the servers so that us underachieving NARPs can efficiently register at the same time, without being hindered from registering until it’s too late.
Another advantage to registering in this fashion is that everything is done within one week. If this process was implemented at Canisius, the Griff Center would be open and professors would be on campus the day immediately following each group’s registration to take care of any unforeseen problems, rather than students having to wait two days or send in emails to handle said problems.
Being inclined to journalistic tendencies and not quite used to this whole “opinion article” thing, I decided to research further and talk to an inside source to become better informed and develop a more impartial opinion.
I travelled to the Griff Center, where I learned that contrary to popular belief, a very small number of students walk in after registration, as most just email the professor to see if they can be forced into the class. I also learned that of the students who do make inquiries at the Griff Center, most are freshmen who actually come in before registration to ask how they can get into classes with few seats remaining. The Griff Center assures these students that most professors are understanding and will force these students into classes.
I was also informed that the students of Canisius College tend to be tech-savvy and, according to the Griff Center, a majority of them believe that campus computers are better suited for registration. Regardless of which computer you use, you should log in early to avoid running into these problems.
Regarding the issue of missing out on classes, while looking up what courses they want to take, students not only view the course and professor but how many seats remain in the class as well. Occasionally, there are very few seats remaining in a desired class and the student will have to hope they are quick on the keyboard and that their computer has no problems. Obviously, people fill these seats, but there are students that are left helpless as they are locked out of their desired class.
The best way to create a better registration experience for yourself is to log in half an hour early. Fifteen minutes is the recommended time, but let’s be honest: anything closer than half an hour, and you’re getting a frozen screen. The second way to make for a smooth registration is by having all your CRN numbers at the ready and having backup courses that don’t conflict with the ones you already have in case there are several you can’t get into.
I’ll admit, registration produces quite a thrill. It brings forth the competitive edge in me that I rarely get to use during the school year. Despite the sense of wonder it creates, registration generates more anxiety than anything else. The stress outweighs the excitement, and I find myself ready to punch a wall after the fifth time attempting to log in.