November 21, 2019

EDITORIAL: Refresh Pre-Enroll

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It’s 6:59 a.m. and you are trying to proceed to Step 2. Maybe this will be the semester you get all the classes. Or maybe your page will have the dreaded grey load box in the corner and you will be locked out of enrolling in your classes — both the mandatory ones and your electives — yet again. Cornell’s current pre-enroll system simply favors those with good internet connection. And that’s not okay.

Internet service in an apartment or living space is not guaranteed. There are many students that live off campus and many students who may not want to splurge on or simply cannot afford high-speed internet for two days a year. And the campus wi-fi cannot handle the mass traffic at 6:59 in the morning of each grade’s pre-enroll. It should not be a race of megabytes per second but a process that is equal and does not disadvantage those who cannot afford the best of the best internet.

At the end of the day we are all here to complete at least one major and to get a good education. But when an almost random process determines what classes we can take and what requirements we are able to take, those goals, those intentions, get disrupted. The way pre-enroll is currently structured makes it very easy for students to not be admitted into classes that are mandatory for their majors, minors or college requirements. There is no set office, group of people or protocol to contact or enact when students struggle with fitting in what they absolutely need to graduate in eight semesters. It’s 7:04 a.m. and there are six red exes on your screen because you did not get into any classes you needed to be into. Who are you supposed to go to? Waiting till add-drop is not a suitable solution when your progress in your major and your educational plan is at risk.

Additionally, why are we not enrolling in our major, minor and required classes first? It would be more work on the University’s part, but allowing students to register for their necessary classes before opening them up to the rest of the student body would immensely relieve a lot of track derailment and frustration. It would ease the burden advisors face when they receive dozens if not hundreds of panicked student emails about their life plans being in jeopardy. It would allow students to accurately lay out their class options and take advantage of opportunities the University offers accordingly instead of readjusting things at 7:01 a.m. to try and salvage their enrollment period and get something they need to eventually get done on their schedule.

If the University took the time to administer an interest survey about classes and polled to see how many students were planning to take their required classes, logistics for the following semester could be tailored accordingly and pre-enroll could be a less stressful and more fair process. How many times have you been in an empty lecture room for a class that was slated to have 100 people and didn’t? And how many times did you not get off the waitlist the University said you probably would because there were just too many people trying to squeeze into a 20-person classroom?

If following a traditional path, we go through eight pre-enrolls. We put our faith in our internet speed eight times in order to achieve our academic goals. We do not know who we should go to if things go awry. We do not know how logistically possible our schedules are. There needs to be a protocol in place for students to request admission into mandatory or required classes. There needs to be more advertised academic planning options so students can make adjustments. There needs to be a more tailored list of classes or an option to select the classes you need to take so student’s academic plans are taken care of. We are a school and we have made pre-enroll a joke. Our academic futures are why we came to Cornell and it’s not funny when we put our hopes and dreams into a single click of a laptop or desktop.

The above editorial reflects the opinions of The Cornell Daily Sun. Editorials are penned collaboratively between the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editor and Opinion Editor, in consultation with additional Sun editors and staffers. The Sun’s editorials are independent of its news coverage, other columnists and advertisers.