Waitlist option helps move along registration process

Abby EpsteinNews Writer

Twenty-four hours before the spot is gone. Southern now offers a waitlist students can be put on if a course they want to take is completely full.

“The purpose is to help students with the whole registration process that if they wanted to wait for a class to see if it opened, that [waitlist] would help them,” said President of the Student Government Association, Alexis Zhitomi, a senior.

Instead of constantly checking to see if a seat in a course has opened up, students can now be put on a waitlist and notified when a seat becomes available.

“We now tell [students] when a seat opens up and it is specifically in the section you wanted to be on the list for, it handles all the notification. It’s taking care of the communication,” said Registrar Alicia Carroll.

There is a limit to how many students can be on the waitlist.

“We recommended to the department chairs to open up a waitlist to the size of the section,” said Carroll.

Depending on how many students were on the waitlist, the department could decide if they needed to add an extra section.

Southern acquired this waitlist idea from Central Connecticut State University.

“Central has been using it for a while so they already worked out the kinks of it, and we knew we had the technology in place. We just needed to set it up,” said Carroll.

The idea was set into motion when the annual schedule committee met. The committee decided to send out a student survey and added questions directed towards student interest in a waitlist option.

“The waitlist got this hands-down ‘Why wouldn’t we use it,’ so we put that at the top of the list, almost like a low dangling fruit that just needed a little time,” said Carroll.

Student Emilie Noreiko agrees the waitlist is beneficial.

“People have certain classes at a certain time and if a class isn’t available or is full for a time, being waitlisted can help. If another student drops the class, then the other student can enter the class and get the time they wanted.”

The waitlist follows the add/drop schedule perfectly, so students on the list can still receive a notification about an open seat during add/drop week. The waitlist closes the same time add/drop and registration close.

Once the student on the waitlist has been offered an open seat in a course, that student has 24 hours to accept before the offer goes to the next student.

“What we did do is knowing that someone could get a notification the last day of add/drop,” said Carroll. “We call them the next morning and email them and say ‘hey, we know the system shut down at midnight and you didn’t get the full 24 hours. Is this a seat you want?’”

There is no priority when it comes to the waitlist. The department chairs cannot change the priority of the waitlist. Alternatively, they can give permission to a student to overenroll in a class which they have always had the authority to do.

“If a senior came to them and said ‘look, it’s full and there’s a waitlist and this is the last class I need and it’s the last semester I’m here’ and the chair gives them permission… They do get to skip the waitlist and they just get a seat in the class,” said Carroll.

This was the first year of testing out the waitlist and Carroll said she believes the waitlist will become a regular thing when it comes to registering for classes.

“There are waitlists everywhere now,” said Carroll. “You know we were behind the curve, so I think everybody kinda saw it and was like ‘Yep, that’s what we expected it be.”

Photo Credit: Jacob Waring

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