Written by Ashley Mireles.
Graphic by Quynhmai Tran.
Twice a year, students are asked to complete the grueling task of enrolling for classes. As spring registration looms once again, we must address the flaws with UT’s current system. UT is considered a world-class institution, but its registration system doesn’t reflect that. Outdated and disorganized, the system creates unnecessary stress for students.
My first encounter with the registration system was during my transfer orientation in Fall 2020. I received a quick “how-to register” talk from my counselor and small group leader. It was then that I realized the course catalog and actual registration were two separate entities; I was surprised. At my previous institution, the enrollment page, the course catalog, and a visual calendar were all located on one site. I was naive and believed that the UT system would be similar, but I was wrong. I quickly learned that enrolling for classes at UT is a complex process. It requires students to use multiple websites to create potential schedules and enroll. When my time came to register, I panicked as my backup schedules failed. I found myself rapidly toggling between multiple websites.
This overwhelming experience is not unique to me. Alyssa Carrasco, a Sophomore Plan II and Psychology Major, has gone through the registration process three times. She described it as “anxiety-inducing.”
The unpredictability of registration is stressful. Students often spend upwards of a week preparing for registration. No matter how prepared a student is, there’s no way for them to account for every possibility.
Krysta Cantu, a 2020 spring graduate, stated that the system had not been changed or updated during her entire time at UT. She noted that she “would have to adjust her schedule several times to accommodate for the classes that filled up.” Even when she had earlier registration times, she still encountered the same issue of creating a schedule on the spot.
The disorganization of the system causes unnecessary stress for students. In a panic, students are forced to navigate across multiple web pages when their back up schedules fail. This whole process needs to be streamlined to allow students to access all of the resources easily.
Typically, students employ multiple outside resources for registration. These resources include UT Registration Plus, UT Planner, Coursicle, the Semester Course Schedule, and Rate my professor. The most popular among them is the Google Chrome extension, UT Registration Plus. This tool makes registration less painless for students but is unknown to some or inaccessible. UT Registration Plus is not advertised or affiliated with UT and requires users to download Google Chrome. This software provides useful information and tools, like grade distributions and past syllabi. Likewise, Coursicle, a visual calendar, should be added to the registration page. A visual calendar is a crucial tool used by students to plan out their week. Although UT Planner offers similar tools as Coursicle it should be more seemingly integrated into the registration process. After students have finalized their registration, this tool should be present on the enrollment page. Students should not have to rely on third-party tools to choose their classes. Many of these resources could easily be provided by the university and should be.
The registration system should be more concise and cater to students’ needs. Students should not be stressed out because of an incompetent user interface. We, as a student body, deserve better.