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Necessary to Register First

by Jacqueline Stoughton

With semester approaching its end, students are soon to experience the stress and struggle of registration, a task made more difficult by those students who have already registered early.

Currently three main student groups have access to early registration: honors students, athletes and disability students.

Even though they register before the main student body, these groups follow the traditional registration process. Students with the most credits register first, a process that favors upperclassmen who are closest to graduation and need those classes to complete their requirements.

“They were given early registration rights so they could formulate a schedule that allowed them to have their honors classes and not compromise their major or any other demands they have,” said Paul Petterson, chair of the Honors Program and political science professor. “In the case of athletes, it allows them to have a schedule that won’t compromise their practice time for their team.”

The frustration, explains Petterson, is that more and more students that don’t have priority registration have similar pressures that fall outside the institution, such as jobs, family responsibilities and commuting options.

“Those people have just as good of a case for a need of priority registration, but because their needs are external to the institution they don’t have the same ability that might make their life a little easier,” said Petterson. “I recognize that this is a reality for a lot of students.”

Just recently, an additional student group on campus has been granted early registration abilities. Veteran students will be approved for early registration in time for the Fall 2015 semester.

According to Chris Gutierrez, Veterans Affairs Coordinator, in order for the 433 student veterans at CCSU to receive VA educational benefits or any financial aid they’ve been awarded, they must be fully registered for classes. During the registration process, a lot of veterans end up on the waiting list for classes, causing their benefits and financial aid to be delayed.

“They also receive a living allowance and a book stipend that can’t happen unless they’re completely registered. Most times students get put on the waiting list, so they can’t complete registration so we can’t certify them for their benefits,” said Gutierrez. “Most of them have families and bills to pay, so by not helping them receive all their classes they won’t get their payments.”

Although many solutions have been debated, a completely fair and ideal solution has yet to be created.

According to Petterson, it comes down to the judgment of what people would think a fair system would look like, and in some ways a completely fair playing field does not exist. It gets complicated quickly since everyone has different schedules to build classes around.

“It would take the biblical wisdom of Solomon to figure out a system that could really serve all those needs equitably and not impose too high a cost on the smallest number of people,” said Petterson.