Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Registration Hell: SGA discuss issues with registration process, reform

Kellyn Taylor

Registration week at Emerson is “one of the single most stressful things,” said Student Government Association (SGA) President Charlize Silvestrino at the weekly SGA meeting on Friday. 

When the topic was first brought up, Silvestrino laughed and recounted the story of her “hyperventilating on the floor at 6:59 a.m.” the first time she went through the process.

The registration system, she explained, is designed to ensure that seniors have the priority to get the classes they need to graduate, and juniors can take crucial prerequisites to keep them on the path to graduation. 

However, this leaves many freshmen and sophomores in a difficult situation, as classes often fill up fast.

Quinn Gardiner, a first-year student and newly sworn-in SGA deputy senator, urged his fellow freshmen to attend the advisory meetings for registration. 

“Without attending the meeting that my advisor put on, I would have no idea what I’m doing,” he said. 

While Emerson students are technically required to attend one of these meetings, Gardiner pointed out that there’s no way to check if anyone actually does.

“I have heard of many people not going to them and not even knowing that they are going on,” he said.

Gardiner presented multiple solutions, mainly adding registration help to the “Emersion” course or requiring students to attend in-person sessions. 

“I think that there might just be a better way of doing this,” he said. “This flies under the radar a little more than it should.”

Silvestrino, who taught an “Emersion” course over the summer, agreed with this sentiment. She said that this could be especially helpful in preparing freshmen to approach the daunting first registration period of the year.

“Some of the classes they might want to take will likely be full,” she said. “As the students at the bottom of the food chain, it’s important that you guys feel prepared and supported for what you have going on in the upcoming semester.”

Thomas Pozo, a sophomore journalism major, said that he wasn’t prepared for the cutthroat nature of registration last spring when he was a freshman. “It’s like the Hunger Games at 7 a.m.,” he said. “I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been, and it was a scramble to get into classes at the last minute.”

Silvestrino said that while there is a section in the “Emersion” course about using DegreeWorks, it would be very helpful for students to get a more in-depth follow-up. This follow-up session would better prepare students for registration, ensuring that they have backup plans and lessening the chances that they end up in Pozo’s situation.

Kayla Armbruster, a sophomore political communications major and the political communications senator in SGA, explained that for students in less common majors, the stakes for registration are even higher. 

“A lot of the time, for some of my required major courses, there is only one section,” said Armbruster. “It’s nerve-wracking and scary.”

“There’s no room for error,” said Angus Abercrombie, the Boston intercollegiate government representative and a political communications major. 

Abercrombie said that there are multiple required courses within the major that don’t have enough seats for everybody. 

“I did not get into a single political communications class this semester, so I have just been hanging out in the history of jazz,” he joked. 

After hearing many other members share their registration grievances, Silvestrino added that students should consider more “unconventional” schedules to free up space to work around these required courses.

“Feel free to experiment with your class schedule,” she said. “No one said that you have to have two classes per day.”

More information regarding registration times can be found at the Emerson College website and on the academic calendar.

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About the Contributor
Jack Burns
Jack Burns, Staff Writer
Jack Burns (he/him) is a junior journalism major at Emerson. He is currently a staff writer for the Beacon. Aside from the Beacon, Jack is a member of the men’s lacrosse team at Emerson and enjoys taking pictures of the city in his free time.

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