Registration red tape creates frustration

Here at Villanova in order to register for classes, you need a pin number. University rules do not allow you to get this number from any other source besides your academic advisor or department chairperson. The question then becomes, what happens if neither of these individuals are accessible? Many advisors have limited office hours, and some are hard to reach by e-mail. Department chairs are even harder to get a hold of, as they are incredibly busy individuals with meetings and other engagements.

We understand why students need to meet with an advisor as a freshman and, to a certain extent, as a sophomore. However, by junior year, most students have a fairly good idea of what classes they have to take. Furthermore, much of the information that you get from your advisor is available on Novasis. Both the registrar and the secretaries of individual departments alert students if they appear to not be meeting the requirements for graduation a semester before their intended graduation. This basically eliminates the role of the advisor in ensuring that students are on-track for graduation. Sure, students may have questions, and advisors should definitely be required to be available to answer these. But oftentimes, these questions are outside the advisor’s realm of knowledge – they are professors, after all, with classes to teach and research to do.

A student who tries to get his/her pin number without seeing his/her advisor is often met by unpleasant red tape. Imagine not being able to reach your advisor, so you go to the department secretary. He/she then sends you to your individual college’s dean’s office. The people there then send you back to your department head, where you finally spend all of 30 seconds finding out your pin number after two or more hours of waiting and shuttling back and forth among the different offices. It’s stressful enough as a junior or senior trying to put together a schedule, never mind having to bang your head against the logic of the University.

What is so sacred about a pin number for registration? Why is it such an arduous process to find out this number? Students give out their Social Security numbers to various staff and faculty members on a weekly basis, but the University doesn’t trust us with our pin numbers?

This problem is part of a greater problem at this University, a lack of independent thought. It seems as though no employee of this University is willing to make decisions on a case-by-case basis even if it clearly defies logic to follow the rules. Can’t the University give you, a 21-year-old, a fully grown adult by societal standards, his/her pin number online through Novasis and trust him/her to register without meeting with an advisor for thirty seconds?