There are fundamental problems with courses and registration. At the beginning of every semester, I always have some problems with registration and with class sizes.

At least one of my classes is always in a classroom that’s woefully inadequate for the needs of the class. Every student has experienced a similar situation — when a classroom simply doesn’t have enough chairs for the number of students.

There are a couple of reasons for this. When a professor sets a limit to the number of students in the course but fails to enforce it, overcrowding is inevitable.

It’s also a problem when a professor doesn’t set a limit at all — without taking the size of the classroom into account.

There is a solution to this.

I realize that some students may not get into the classes they want, just as some underclassmen may not get into a course favored by upperclassmen, but limiting class sizes makes the course more enjoyable for everyone involved. Smaller classes give students more individual attention and access to a professor, as well as a little bit of breathing room in the classroom.

It’s also beneficial for professors, as fewer students means fewer papers and midterms to grade.

Online registration would help regulate class sizes, as students would be able to drop and add classes instantly.

The majority of colleges and universities in the nation have a system allowing students to register for their classes online. UR, years behind the technology curve, doesn’t have such a system in place, or even the ability to register by phone. This is inexcusable and should be remedied as soon as possible.

Instead of begging a professor to allow them into an already overcrowded classroom, students would know instantly whether there was room for them or not.

Without a doubt, giving students the ability to register online would change the way a student adds or drops a class. Assuming professors would enforce limits on the size of classes, add/drop forms would only be necessary if a class had already reached its maximum number of students and would only be allowed if a classroom was large enough to seat everyone.

Instead of having to collect signatures from professors in order to change a class, online registration would give students the freedom to add, drop and modify their own course schedules as they see fit.

Implementing online registration and enforcing size limits on classes would reduce some of the chaos of the first week of classes and eliminate headaches for both professors and students.

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