The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

St. John’s enters 21st century

Computers have been slowly taking over the world. Everywhere I turn,
something seems to be computerized. I’ve often thought of St. John’s as
a fairly practical university, but recently, it too has hopped on the
computer bandwagon. Starting this semester, course offerings will only
be available online. To find course offerings, students must visit the
official St. John’s University homepage, and click on the Fall 2001
Registration at the top center of the page. Now the entire process of
registration can be done by the click of a mouse.

Some students may see this as a good thing. They won’t have to visit the
Registrar’s Office and wait on line for 30 minutes before being able to
obtain a course booklet. Other students look to the other side of the
coin and find this change a burden. Constantly having to go online to
check availability of courses is tedious. I agree with the latter group
and find that pinpointing my classes online is a tremendous burden.

When I first heard of this change, my concern was how I would find out
when to register. Students received priority registration numbers from
the dean’s office, but were not given the day and time they were to
register. This info was to be obtained via the web site. It took me
about a half-hour to find it on the highly confusing SJU Web page. I
find it time-consuming to sit at my computer and write down all of the
information for the classes I would like to take, when I could simply be
looking at a composite list of the offerings in a print booklet.
Scrolling back and forth, simply trying to find the times and days of
classes is a feat in itself. I found it much easier to adjust and
determine my upcoming schedule by having the booklet in front of me. The
booklet allows students the leisure of scanning through times, dates
other pertinent registration information without having to spend hours
staring at a computer before even being able to locate the class
schedule.

St. John’s has altered its system, so that now the entire registration
process can be done online. We find our courses online, we actually
register for classes online. What next? The elimination of advisement,
with a substitute virtual reality adviser? Despite the blunder of
squirming through the site to actually find your classes, once this is
complete, the actual process of registration is easy. Last semester was
the first time I registered online, and it is much easier than calling
Red Phone. It took me five minutes to register. I didn’t have to worry
about getting a busy signal on the phone, nor did I have to worry about
the constant delays brought by the repetitive recording service offered
through Red Phone.

To register online students must again visit St. John’s official
homepage, where they should click on “A Guide for SJU students.” Once
logged in to the Student Information System, students can add or drop
classes from their schedules and determine class location. This aspect
of the registration process is the only aspect that is helpful to
students.

By placing the course offerings online, the university is making it
harder for its students. What about those individuals who do not have
access to home computers? They will have to spend hours at the computer
labs. Just last week, I visited computer labs at Sullivan Hall and
Marillac, and in both instances, the lines consisted of at least 15
persons and the wait to use a computer averaged around 45 minutes.
Students simply do not have the time to wait on lengthy lines, much less
to deal with the monotonous task of preparing our classes online.

The university should have thought twice before instituting its new
process. I know that St. John’s wants to move into the 21st century
along with the rest of the world, but sometimes, the good old-fashioned
way of doing things is much more appropriate.

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