Registration dates inconveniencing students

by Emily Alvarenga, Staff Writer

Here at San Diego State, not only are we known for our partying, but we’re also known for our terrible registration. I can’t even count how many people I’ve talked to who knew about how stressful it is to get the classes we need each semester. The trouble we go through just to get the classes we need to stay on track for graduation is ridiculous, but what’s even worse is when we don’t get said classes.

Crashing classes is just as stressful as, if not worse than, waiting for registration dates. Here we are, amidst the new class chaos and we have to go sit through a class we don’t even know we’ll end up getting. SDSU prides itself on being a school where students can graduate in four years, but that can’t be accomplished if we’re forced to crash classes each and every semester.

What’s the point of coming to a prestigious university if I’m not getting the classes I need in order to stay on track for graduation?”

 I made the choice to come to SDSU for my education because I thought I would be able to get a good education in a decent amount of time. Instead I find myself sitting on the floor of classrooms, waiting until the teacher tells me how many crashers they’re taking this semester, if any at all. I know I’m not the only one who isn’t happy about it.

“If we pay so much of money to go to SDSU, we shouldn’t have to be constantly worrying about if we’re going to get the classes we need,” television, film and media sophomore Jennifer Koester said. “We pay money for those classes to be available, right?”

This past year, the Student Success Fee was passed, raising our tuition and opening up more class sections. I thought it would have helped out at least a little. The amount of crashers in my political science class proved otherwise. How many were there? More than 40. More than 40 kids sitting on the floor or standing in the isles. It was chaos. Although some of the students just wanted a better professor or time slot, most of them were there because they had no other option.

“I had such a late registration date and by the time it was my turn to register, almost all my classes were completely full,” hospitality and tourism management junior Blake DeGraw said. “If there were open sections for the classes I needed, they, of course, conflicted with other classes that I needed to take. I had no choice. I had to crash some classes.”

Registration is supposed to get better the further one gets in their education, but that isn’t necessarily true. Freshmen register first, then seniors, then juniors and finally sophomores. It’s a never ending cycle of stress leading to most students dreading the beginning of each year, no matter their year.

When the beginning of a new semester comes along, I always seem to find myself wondering why I didn’t just go to a junior college first. If I’m having this much trouble getting my classes, why didn’t I just spend a fraction of what I’m paying now and battle it out there?

Palomar College, a nearby community college, costs 59 percent less than the national average for public two-year colleges. Their tuition is only $1,288 per year for in-state residents. That’s less than five times the amount we pay for tuition here at SDSU. Granted we are going to a four-year university, but the fact that we could spend our first two years at a community college and be in much less debt is overwhelming.

Most would assume at a community college, crashing classes would be a must. Out of the 20 Palomar students I stopped and interviewed, only eight told me they had to crash a class this semester and out of those eight, only one of them was a freshman.

“Everyone asks if going to a community college means that I don’t get the classes that I need,” business sophomore Karen Yung said. “But it really isn’t like that at all. I’ve only had to crash one of my classes in my two years here and that was because I made a mistake registering.”

In comparison, when I asked students here at SDSU, the responses were dramatically different.

There were 17 of the students at SDSU who crashed a class this semester. Out of those 17, five were freshmen, eight were sophomores, three were juniors and one was a senior. To little surprise, only four of those students crashed classes because they wanted a better teacher or time slot.

Palomar College is just one example, but it begins to show us what we’re actually dealing with. Although I’m proud to be a student here at SDSU, the amount of time I spend worrying about registering or crashing classes is beginning to get to me. SDSU needs to step up its game and actually help its students graduate in four years. There shouldn’t be any excuse as to why we have to crash so many classes. We pay so much to go here and more of us will eventually begin to consider the other cheaper, faster options out there.