In an information age, students register by hand

Afton Hodge’s morning during last year’s registration was anything but pleasant.

Though a typical student’s morning on registration day is stressful, seniors majoring in political science at GW usually have a particularly rough experience if they are expecting to register for the required proseminar course. Hodge is one of these students.

She woke up at 8:10 a.m., 50 minutes before registration for the proseminar began. Registration for this course does not happen online but at the political science department’s offices at Monroe Hall.

By the time Hodge threw on her Ugg boots and coat and sprinted to Monroe Hall, she was the third-to-last person in the line of about 200 students wrapping around the hallway.

After waiting in a “ridiculous” line for an hour and a half, she missed her class on the Mount Vernon Campus.

Hodge is one of many seniors who had trouble registering for their proseminars that morning, because although almost all other classes are registered for online at GW, this one is done manually.

With students rolling out of bed at 6:59 a.m. for a 7:00 a.m. registration, some students are questioning the political science department’s motives in requiring such an archaic procedure for one of the University’s largest departments.

“I really hate the process,” Ben Cuddy, a senior majoring in political science, wrote in an e-mail. “It’s ridiculous that the school makes seniors be in the same mindset as a contestant for ‘the Amazing Race’ in order to graduate.”

Susan Wiley, associate professor of political science and political management, said one of the primary reasons the procedure is not done online is for students who study abroad during the spring semester of their junior year. These students are unable to get their credits transferred in time for fall registration.

“This would have shut out all of those students,” Wiley said. “There were probably 20 to 30 students who would have been shut out of classes.”

She also said she does everything she can to place students in proseminars if they are not able to register the day of registration. She said this year everyone has or will be placed into a proseminar.

“There will be two or three students in January who have ignored my e-mails and haven’t been placed in a class, but we’ll deal with that when it happens,” she said.

“There will be two or three students in January who have ignored my e-mails and haven’t been placed in a class, but we’ll deal with that when it happens,” she said.

The students, on the other hand, are not as optimistic as Wiley. Many students, after waiting in line for an average of two hours several getting shut out of their preferred proseminar said they are frustrated and outraged by the whole process.

Lindsey Frazer, a senior majoring in political science, said the person in front of her took the last spot of the proseminar she wanted.

“They don’t have enough sections to accommodate all the seniors, and the fact that we are getting our third or fourth choice I think is unacceptable,” she said. “I think they should anticipate the number of seniors that need to take these classes and they should provide enough sections to accommodate them.”

While the list of stories from disappointed students and the reasons behind the antiquated procedure goes on, still nobody is satisfied. One of the most common majors at GW requires a difficult process in an internet-savvy culture, and that is what is most frustrating, students said.

Other departments, including journalism and mass communication, political communication and economics, require proseminar classes for seniors, as well. However, students are able to register for these proseminars online, along with the rest of their courses.

With many seniors majoring in political science forced to take unwanted proseminars with professors who tend to be graduate students or professors who are unfamiliar with the subject, students have become bitter toward these classes, said Korey Barry, who graduated last year but still remembers the morning of that registration day.

“A lot of times, you don’t really know who the proseminar teachers are going to be,” Barry said. “It’s really a crapshoot whether you’re going to get someone good or someone bad.”

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