Course snatcher app is an unfair advantage

by Emily Alvarenga

With the anticipation of each new semester comes the stress of registering for classes at San Diego State. Our school has a system to ensure that the students who need the classes the most get them, or so they believe. Freshmen always register first: they are given the opportunity to get the hang of using the registration system and make sure they have chosen the right classes before other students crowd the system. Then come the seniors, whose choices are the most important so they can get every class they need to graduate on time. After the seniors comes the juniors, and then finally the sophomores.

Even though SDSU’s system seems reasonable, every semester ensures panic for students of every grade level as they begin to plan their new schedules and wonder if there will still be spots left when their registration opens. Sophomores have trouble getting any of the classes they need, and they can forget about getting well-rated teachers. [quote]But this year, a new Google Chrome application called Aztec Course Snatcher has made playing the game of getting needed courses 10 times harder.[/quote]

According to the app’s web store, “This app will display a notification and play a sound when there is a class opening in your wish list. It will also automatically add it if you have the auto add enabled.”

With the huge amount of money every SDSU student has to pay for tuition, it’s completely ridiculous that we will need to pay for registration as well just to stay on an even playing field with some of our peers. The app has standard and premium versions, giving students various options on how they can “snatch” classes right out of the hands of other students. The standard version, which cost $4.99, is simple; it automatically refreshes your webpage every 20 seconds, completely eliminating the need to log back into WebPortal after it times you out. The premium version can be bought for $29.99 and allows students to automatically add a class when a spot has become available. The app boasts that it’s able to add the class for you in 0.3 seconds.

After asking nursing junior Jenna Frasher if she had heard of the new app, she was baffled.

“How hasn’t this been shut down by SDSU already,” she said.

She didn’t understand how something that gives some students an unfair advantage could still be up and running.

“I think that it’s terrible. The system is made that way for a reason and if other students are allowed to cheat it, it defeats the whole purpose. They’re, in turn, taking the classes from people who rightfully deserve them,” Frasher said.

As a freshman, I know I should have the easiest time registering. I’m one of the first to do so and shouldn’t have a hard time signing up for any of the classes I need. But like many other SDSU students, I know that isn’t always the case. After registration was only open for two days, two out of the five classes I was planning on taking were filled. I, who was scheduled to register the next day (only the third day out of about 20 days open for registration) panicked. I was forced to change my entire schedule to accommodate the other time slots that were still available. If I was having difficulties as a freshman, I knew I’d be completely out of luck next year. [quote]And now I have to worry about people who have made an investment in the Aztec Course Snatcher? I’m almost guaranteed to have a breakdown.[/quote]

“I actually bought the app,” a sophomore student who wishes to remain anonymous said. “I knew there was no way I would get the (general education) classes I need to complete this year so I can start my major classes, so I took the chance. It got me two classes that had long been filled before I was even able to register, so I would certainly recommend it to anyone.”

With the technological advancements of our generation, it was only a matter of time until an app like this was created. Although I have got to hand it to the creator, whose probably making quite some good money off this app, it’s not fair. But who am I kidding? The system in itself has always seemed a little unfair. So in all truth, I know that next year, as I go into the worst year of registration for students here at SDSU, I will most likely buy the premium version of the app and utilize it to the best of my abilities.