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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    WebReg to open for journalism dept. in spring

    Journalism students will no longer have to wait all night inside and outside the Marshall building to get the classes they need to graduate, thanks to WebReg Permissions, a program that has been adopted by the journalism department, advisers said.

    The new system will be available to students for the spring 2007 semester, and it will be more convenient and safer than having to wait outside all night to sign up for classes, said Michael Tearne, academic adviser for the department of journalism.

    The journalism department has found it increasingly difficult to maintain class availability and to accommodate the students it already has, especially because the department, like others at the UA, has undergone budget cuts in recent years, said senior academic adviser Paul Johnson.

    “”Registration is competitive for this department, and students had to show up earlier and earlier every semester to sign up for classes,”” Johnson said.

    In spring 2006, journalism students began lining up as early as 4 a.m. outside the Marshall building to wait for the sign-up sheet for class registration appointments that was posted after noon.

    The previous Web registration service was unable to restrict classes to journalism majors and minors, which meant that nonjournalism students could sign up for the already hard-to-get classes, Tearne said.

    The new WebReg Permissions system can recognize journalism majors and acknowledge the prerequisites for each class, which were the two main reasons why the journalism department kept to the pen-and-paper registration method, Johnson said.

    It will now be the student’s responsibility to know which classes he or she needs to graduate and what the prerequisites are for those classes, Tearne said.

    One problem the department of journalism faces is how to handle the waitlist for classes. Department officials will discuss how to handle the issue next month, but so far they only have a few possibilities.

    “”The question is, how do we do this and still give students equal access?”” Johnson asked.

    “”One possibility would be to have the instructors handle the waitlists,”” Johnson added.

    The psychology department has been using WebReg Permissions for two years now, restricting priority registration to psychology majors, but when the priority registration period ends, all available seats are released to UA students of any major, Taylor Robertson, senior academic adviser of the psychology department, said in an e-mail.

    “”Before the beginning of the semester, we open our separate departmental waiting lists for classes that are full,”” Robertson wrote.

    “”Any current student can put themselves on the waiting lists using their SID and PIN and go to the first day of the class to see if there is room to be added. If seats are available, instructors add students off of the waiting lists in the order that they are listed,”” Robertson said.

    Journalism sophomore Megan Levardo said she has heard about students waiting outside all morning and thinks the new system will be better.

    As an honors student, Levardo has enjoyed the privilege of signing up for classes with the graduating seniors during the priority registration period.

    But not everyone is happy to see the old pen-and-paper system go.

    “”I’m old-fashioned,”” Johnson said. “”I preferred the old system because I got to meet the students face-to-face and make sure they were signed up for the right classes.””

    Johnson said that he also preferred the old system because it would reward students for getting up early and waiting in line.

    Journalism senior Kari Shaffer said she was almost looking forward to waiting in line all night in the Marshall building.

    “”A bunch of us would show up and we would make a night out of it,”” Shaffer said.

    “”We would wear pajamas, watch movies on our laptops and order pizza to the side of the Marshall building,”” Shaffer said.

    Some students would bring pillows and sleeping bags and their iPods with them, Shaffer said.

    “”Everyone complained about the old system, but in the end, you got the classes you needed and it was nice to have that guidance from the advisers, “” Shaffer said.

    Tearne said the new system should improve the department’s advising.

    “”Advisers can spend more time with students who need it and not waste the time of those who don’t,”” Tearne said.

    “”I’m sure it will end up being a better system and far less stressful for students once it is up and running smoothly,”” said Johnson.

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