The spring semester picking season is currently underway, and many students have already faced the relief or despair of getting or not getting into their most wanted classes. The spring semester is also more important than its fall counterpart in that the choice is doubled for many students: on-campus housing for next year is also being chosen. With the ongoing processes, it is very interesting to compare the two systems that decide such important aspects of student academic and social life.
Of course, it is not possible to please everyone. Not every student can get his or her dream schedule, just as not everyone can get a single, suite or apartment. There are just not the resources for that. With that being said, random selection would just be frustrating, hoping that the stars align to your benefit. Picking on such big decisions should be weighted, rewarding those who work hard, have seniority, and are vigilant. Additionally, the system should be transparent, allowing students to know their options ahead of time and in the moment. Failures in selection should be clearly their own weakness, something they can account for in the future.
To these standards, the MyHousing system works very well. While earlier notice as to the specific time would have been nice, the stakes were clear. New competition for rooms enter the pool every other minute, so getting the best room required precision and awareness. In fact, if roommates are wanted, it even requires a bit of planning and coordination. Seniority and effort are also rewarded in earlier pick times, good for a decision so important. A big feature advertised, students could even see their options change in real time.
The Student Admin system of class picking is the exact opposite. Granted, schedule builder is a nice and fluid system, but the actual enrollment system is a bit of a problem. Conceptually, it is the exact same as MyHousing. Practically, Student Admin is plagued by unintuitive layouts, slow loading times, and unclear directions. The menus will inevitably lose a student in their labyrinthian hyperlinks, but trying to go back a page is a sure death sentence for the task. Student Admin is a mess.
Every semester, students are caused undue stress from not seeing a hold on their account, tucked into the corner. Every semester, students do not see a waitlist on their dream schedule, unable to implement their schedule builder. And yet, every semester UConn continues to use a broken system, inhibiting students from properly guiding their academics.