Registration delays schedules

At 7 a.m. on Thursday morning, sophomores across campus ran into unexpected difficulty when attempting to register for fall courses.


There was a 10-minute “slow down” in the registration system April 7, Registrar Keith Williams said.


“I described it as a slow down because everyone was able to log back in and pick classes, but the explanation that I got from the system people was that people actually got dropped,” Williams said. “If you’re getting in there and get dropped, I can see why it would feel like a crash.”


Sophomore Renee Willard said she experienced trouble registering for courses.


“Mostly, it was just an inconvenience especially because I had to wake up early for something that didn’t happen until 10 minutes late,” Willard said.


Willard expressed concern for students getting courses they need specific to their major.


“It should be some sort of rolling registration with priority given to students in the major for classes they need,” Willard said. “My friend couldn’t get into Cultural Anthropology because people take it for fun, but she needs it for her major.”


Sophomore Jasper Davis said server maintenance can have unexpected errors but they can be tested.


“You can even find backup methods in case an untested exception causes the system to fail, such as a backup system,” Davis said. “The fact that thousands of students use this system also makes this mess up more of a set-back and could paint the University in a more unprofessional lighting.”


The registration issues arose not because of the number of sophomores logging in, but the pattern in which students logged in, Williams said.


“Students were waiting until the very last minute to log in, so then there were all these requests in the system at a rate we never anticipated,” he said.


Sophomore Julia Iannazzi said it took her over half an hour to register.


“I was trying to get into labs that only had eight seats so it made everything more difficult,” Iannazzi said. “And I wish UVM would have sent out an alert or email or something letting us know when the problem was going to be fixed.”


Slow downs don’t happen every year, Williams said.

“In fact, we’ve had years where in general registration happens kind of between 7 and 7:05, where we’ll have 5,000 courses get registered for in five minutes,” he said.


The reason why registration wasn’t worse than it was is because the office had staff monitoring the system and making adjustments as necessary, Williams said.


Registration is completed at 7 a.m., so it doesn’t interfere with classes and administrators, and faculty don’t have difficulty with the system during working hours, he said.


“And honestly my concern about that is I don’t ever want registration to ever compete with when you’re supposed to go to school,” Williams said. “At the same time, I don’t want the faculty and staff who are logging in to compete with you for the system’s attention.”


Despite the complaints, he said registration was completed in 18 minutes.

The registrar’s office received only got three complaints, Williams said.