Computer glitch prompts GWeb search closure

When junior Turner Floyd prepared to register for classes two weeks ago, she went about looking up which class sections had been filled, just as she had done in previous years. But when she logged on the GWeb Information System, a list of closed classes could not be accessed.

“I didn’t panic, but it was frustrating because I wasn’t able to create a backup plan,” said Floyd, who only found out which courses were full the morning she registered. She added that she had to take two elective classes in place of required courses she was planning to register for.

The change to the online registration system, which in previous years allowed students to view closed class sections, was made because administrators were fixing a glitch that would have allowed ineligible students to enroll for fall 2005 courses. Registration ended Friday.

University Registrar Elizabeth Amundson wrote in an e-mail that GW is evaluating an upgrade to the Web-based system that will be tested, certified and implemented “well in advance of the priority registration period for spring 2006.” She did not say whether the fix would allow students to view closed classes through the GWeb course search in the future.

While Amundson said she has received no complaints about the change, some students were upset that they were not made aware of the modification.

“I think there needed to be better communication between the University and students about this issue,” said Charles Wekselbaum, a junior. “I just didn’t know what courses they were offering.”

Sophomore Rachel Canter said a friend told her about the issue, and she was able to find an alternative listing of classes online at www.gwu.edu/~schedule.

“I had heard people were panicking, but I told all my friends how to find closed sections after I found another place to look,” said Canter, adding that she feels some students gave up too easily and did not find alternative class listings.

Although Amundson wrote that the public schedule of classes Canter used to find closed sections is updated every night, Wekselbaum said he found inconsistencies between that listing and the actual classes being offered on GWeb.

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