Monday, December 10, 2007

Refining Registration

The YU Vent is eager to spotlight guest posts from other other YU fans. Here is a guest post from YU Sophomore Julian Horowitz. Please send well written posts to - if they are about YU and well-written, they will be vented.

Remember the XFL a"h? One of the more popular modifications from traditional football was replacing the coin toss with a steal-the-salami-esque no-holds-barred race for a pigskin placed equidistant between two opposing players. While this type of thing was fun to watch on TV, it's less fun when it determines the future of your college career.

As a smaller institution, YU must inevitably deal with too-many students vying too-few spots in some popular classes. Currently, priority is given based on seniority, a largely fair system due to the need to get in those last requirements before graduation. (Even this system has its flaws, such as basing seniority on credits earned instead of something like years on campus. This allows those of us who overachieved in high school and took a lot of APs an unfair advantage over those who did High School during High School. But we have bigger fish to fry).

Unfortunately, priority is also given to those with faster computers and those willing to come late to class in order to be at a computer at the right time. What follows is a suggestion for a slightly fairer and less barbaric system:

Allow a certain time window (something reasonable, say 24 hours) for everyone from a certain credit range apply to register. After that time has passed, have a computer randomly select the students who will fill the slots in classes which have received too many applicants. Then, have this same computer kindly inform those who did not get into a class of their choice of their non-acceptance. This same email would suggest other classes in the same time slot and alternative times for the desired class, as well as reassuring the student that he/she will still have the opportunity to register for classes before registration is opened up to the next credit-range. For extra-credit, include an algorithm which ensures that no one student is rejected from two classes.

We all agree that someone has to get screwed, let's make sure it's not the guy who wants to come to his 3:00 class on time. As an added bonus, this will also avoid the server crashes endemic to registration time.

-Julian Horowitz

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