I just successfully crashed into my math course. So did half of the class, it seems.
No, it wasn’t impacted that badly. And no, they didn’t open an extra section. So what was keeping people out? What served as the bouncer of this oh-so-popular club?
People are doing some creative things with telephones these days. My old roommate, for instance, suggested programming the entire album “Dark Side of the Moon” onto my cell phone ringer and going to a theater that was playing “The Wizard of Oz.” That would be fun.
But nothing surpasses the creative energy spent in keeping students out of classes. Error messages taunting me about “necessary prerequisites” and “major restrictions” have kept me up nights since my freshman year. It never seems to matter that I’ve taken the prerequisites or that the class is required for my major. Nor does it matter, I suppose, that it’s my third pass and the math or chemistry majors are already registered for the class.
Even if my major weren’t on the technical side I would be miffed. If a dance major wants to try out a math course, why should a computer refuse to register the person? Is the Mathematics Dept. suddenly afraid that it will have the entire Film Studies Dept. beating down doors to get into Math 5A? Wow, with that in perspective, thank heaven for RBT.
I know the arguments and all: people majoring in a field should have first crack at the classes. Great. I agree; so if a math major tries to register, let them into the math class. The same goes for people in engineering and physics — and if you need to, open an extra lecture section. I don’t think the floodgates are going to open on registration and heaven knows there aren’t just a ton of lecture sections to choose from at the moment. But don’t keep people out because of their major.
Oh, well. At least there’s no hold music.
Josh Braun is the Daily Nexus science editor and writes Red Tape, which is usually on Mondays. He made up his own major, which complicates things.