The line for registration during the first week of classes stretched on, as if students were in line for a ride at an amusement park. Students expressed their dissatisfaction bitterly as the wait time was long and the line moving slowly. Sighing exasperatedly, staring at watches and glaring straight ahead, students who had to wait in line for too long must have wondered, “What is taking forever?”
One student, who needed verification of enrollment, attempted to make use of time in between classes to wait in the long line, but unfortunately, the line was so long that she spent her lunch debating whether to come back another time or wait the line out. “I was wondering if I was going to have to miss class or not,” complained the student. “I work right after school, so I couldn’t wait all day.”
While some students may have spare time to stand around, other students juggle multiple responsibilities, including full- and part-time jobs, families and school. When one’s day is divided by the tasks of each hour, standing in line is not just an annoyance; it is in fact a hindrance. The lengthy, time-consuming lines are a problem and need to be resolved. One possible solution would be multiple lines. A separate line for registration and another line for “other needs,” such as requesting transcripts, could be used. Other proposals include hiring temporary registration employees for the first few weeks of the new semester or erecting a separate table near registration for buying parking passes. Students affirm that they stand in lines too long at both Yuba College and Woodland Community College, sometimes just to be directed to a different office to stand in yet a similar lagging line. Many feel they are given what seems like “the runaround.” Some students were so frustrated that they took their hostility out on the registration staff with rude and angry remarks.
What is the cause of this registration chaos? According to Minerva Lemus, Campus Student Services Specialist at Woodland Community College, “Students are standing in line unnecessarily.”
Lemus says many questions can be answered through the Web Advisor or telephone, and by “attending orientation or by reading course catalogs.”Lemus explains the reasons students are standing in line include adding or dropping their classes, receiving verification of enrollment, requesting transcripts, purchasing parking passes, paying bills or purchasing parking tickets. Students must pay when registering at the front counter, and student’s’ lack of knowledge of this change also congests lines. Many student’s who do not want to deal with the frustration of standing in line pay their fees by telephone to avoid the long lines. Other students wait a couple weeks to pay their registration fees.
The lines for purchasing books and school supplies in the Book Store doesn’t get much easier. Students have to find their books and wait in line to purchase them. Holding those books during the long lines gets tiring and exhausting.
Some students purchase their books online to avoid those long lines. Many of the books are cheaper online, so many students prefer to order them and wait for them to arrive at home instead of in a line on campus.
The run-around that students are getting, according to Lemus, is due to the fact that students get “lost in the process.” At Woodland Community College there are separate offices located in different buildings for distinct services. In the near future, all Student Services will be located in the 700 building at the Woodland campus, making it easier for students to get all services in one location.
Everyone has a part to play in managing registration frustrations, including implementing solutions and preparing ahead of time for early-semester chaos.It is the administration’s responsibility to inform students of appropriate services and locations and to address lengthy lines as an issue. By managing the extensive lines now, our district administration will also be preparing for the expected increase in student enrollment and the possibility of even longer lines.
Students must also realize their responsibility. Dealing with bureaucracy is never a picnic, but making sure you know your resources is important. Do not be afraid to ask questions before getting in line. Students need to spread the word to peers about appropriate offices and their respective services.
Taking initiative in registering early or on time, via telephone or Internet, is beneficial to everyone, and helping each other is crucial to spreading awareness about services and technology available on campus.