March 22, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 35°F

ColumnsFinding Ithaca

Column: Registration is a struggle

In the week leading up to registration, I find myself logging into Homerconnect to see which classes I want and need to take for the upcoming semester. At first, it’s a hopeful search, seeing all of the interesting and exciting classes I wish to take. However, as registration begins, seats are quick to fill up and as I re-check class catalogs, I often find that the classes I wanted to take are now full. During my first few times registering for classes here at Ithaca College, I figured this was normal. After all, as a sophomore, I’m in a division that registers towards the end. I find the prioritization of upperclassmen and exploratory students to be fair, considering that upperclassmen have more requirements as they draw closer to graduation, but I’ve realized that who registers first and when, isn’t the main problem when securing certain classes.

I’ve come to the conclusion that yes, maybe digitally battling a peer or two for a seat is normal, but I’ve also learned that this is due to the Academic Program Prioritization, which students are definitely feeling. The cutting of several faculty and staff members has made it significantly harder for students to find a seat in classes they were so excited to sign up for or better yet… their actual required classes. In the past, more faculty meant more sections, but that is no longer the case. 

As a writing major, I have the opportunity to pre-register, yet I still share the anxiety and frustration of trying to sign up for classes for my sociology minor and the other classes I’ll take along with my major and minor. I wake up at around 7 a.m. on registration days with a list of classes, backup classes, a fully charged computer and shaking hands. If I’m paying to be at the college and take classes, I don’t believe that I should feel overly nervous trying to get into classes. As we know, going to the college is not cheap, and while I love Ithaca, it’s situations like this that leave me frustrated with the college and honestly disappointed.

The day and night before registration, I can’t count how many times I go back to check how many seats are left in the classes I need and want to take. In the past, I’ve had to contend with that soul-sinking feeling of seeing a class fill up while there’s nothing you can do about it. Having the slight advantage of being able to register earlier than I did last year, I still felt that feeling this time around. In the end, I was able to sign up for most of the classes I wanted, but this was accompanied by stress and anxiety. Naturally, stress will come with the registration process, but this is exacerbated due to the decreased number of class sections following several faculty members being cut.