The past few weeks, students at U of M have worked frantically trying to maneuver their possible classes for winter semester, in an effort to make the best schedule possible before they had to register. Whether that is no Friday classes or no class until noon, students have been paranoid, anxious, and frustrated by the registration process. Scheduling for classes can make or break one’s next semester. However, is the current registration system fair? Should credits determine when a student’s registration time occurs or should it be an all-out brawl at a certain time on a certain day? Or, why not have each class level register at the same time?
Freshmen, and even students that came into the university with fewer credits than some of the same graduation year, get snubbed by the system because many of the classes that they wanted to sign up for were already taken by the time their registration slots became available. Many students come into college hoping that they can take the classes that they want to and not classes that they are forced to take. As they head off to college, rising freshmen are told how great it is to be able to take courses that you want. However, when you really look at it, many freshmen cannot take many of the classes that they want because they are full. Sometimes, this even costs students a chance at fulfilling a requirement for their major or distribution. Some may say that they can choose a different professor or a different time, but many times these are not options because there may only be one or two sections of the class.
Would Martin Luther King, Jr. think that the “laws” that are currently in place about scheduling just? MLK, Jr. states that for a law to be just, it must apply to all and there must be consistency with the rule of law. In regards to registration, the process has been the same for many years (at least to my knowledge) which fits one of MLK Jr.’s criteria to a law being just. The other criteria is that it applies to everyone. Since the registration process has been constant for many years, all students have been affected by the system. As one earns more credits, one’s registration time moves earlier and earlier. Therefore, as a senior, a student is able to reap the benefit of an early registration time since he/she will have more credits. Thus, this criteria also fits MLK, Jr.’s beliefs on a just law. Therefore, I believe that MLK, Jr. would say that the registration process here at U of M is just.
However, does the early registration time even really help seniors? At that point, do seniors really need the extra benefits of registering early? They have already fulfilled many, if not all, of their distribution requirements and are so deep into their concentration that they can only choose from a small selection of classes anyway. Freshmen and sophomores, on the other hand, need to be able to take certain classes in order to meet their requirements and take prerequisites that will allow them to further pursue their major.
What do you think? Is the registration process just or unjust? What do you think MLK, Jr. would say about it? Should U of M change the registration process? If so, can you come up with any alternative ways in which students can register?