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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UAccess vs. WebReg

We all know the feeling. It’s 8 a.m. on a Saturday. You’ve just been woken up by the 500 alarms that you set to avoid oversleeping. You rush to your computer and login to your UA account. It seems to take an eternity before the Web page pops up. Then you try to get to WebReg. It takes even longer to load, and your anxiety grows as you wait nervously. For the first few minutes, WebReg is “”unavailable at this time,”” but then — suddenly — it’s open.

You rush to the scroll bar, typing in each class you need. It’s critical to enter them quickly and make no mistakes. Every time you look for something, all kinds of options crowd your screen. For some courses, you have to scroll through long lists of classes, desperately searching for the correct time, day and professor you want. It’s especially difficult because the site is packed with eager students just like you, gobbling up class seats at alarming rates and causing the server to lag significantly. Before you know it, there are no available seats for that course you really needed to take. How did this happen? No matter how hard you try, WebReg has let many of us down throughout our years at UA.

Why is it, then, that many students are so disconcerted about the new UAccess site? It’s hard to get used to change, but this change is a much-needed one.

True, the new UAccess doesn’t have that cool Google Map feature that our old Student Link did. It’s also missing the schedule view that shows classes on a grid, illustrating their times and lengths. Those particular assets were helpful, but the new UAccess makes up for it in a different field: When it comes to perusing, choosing and registering for our classes.

If you haven’t played around with the new site yet, it’s easy to reach at uaccess.arizona.edu. Click on “”Student Center,”” and be sure that you’re logged in with your Net ID. If you want to explore possible courses, click on the green button that says “”search for classes.”” This link will lead you to a search feature that can be as broad or specific as you like. If you want to view all English classes, just select “”English”” as the course subject. Or, if you want to find a Chemistry 151 lecture that meets on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you can search for that too. Type in Chemistry and 151 in the appropriate boxes, then click “”additional course criteria.”” The dropdown menu of “”course component”” allows you to search for lectures only, labs only, or whatever specific part of a class you may need. Similarly, you can search for classes based on the days or times that they meet, and even specify a certain professor.

The large amount of options may be overwhelming, but there’s a helpful tutorial video that shows these various ways of searching for classes. If you go to the old Student Link site and click the WebReg tab, you’ll be directed straight to it. The video also shows the absolute best aspect of the new UAccess — the shopping cart feature.

The new “”shopping cart”” takes away nearly all of the stress of our old WebReg system. You can easily plan the classes that you want to take, using the aforementioned search features, and then add them to virtual list called your “”shopping cart.”” Later, when your particular registration time slot opens, all you’ll need to do is submit this list. From there, the system will enroll you into the courses you’ve selected, assuming that they are open and you are eligible. Doesn’t that sound so much easier than our previous experiences with the WebReg server?

In the end, change always requires learning, transition and some getting used to. Just because UAccess looks startlingly different than our old system doesn’t mean that it’s out to ruin our lives. We’ll have to see how registration actually goes when it occurs in mid April, but the new system will help make important choices easier and stressful registration times go much more smoothly.

— Miranda Butler is a creative writing sophomore. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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