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Technical error confuses add/drop period

By Rachel Marcus     4/10/13 7:00pm


Rice students used the ESTHER Course Registration Planner for the second time to register for fall 2013 courses. Registrar David Tenney said he believes the initial registration process went smoothly. 

"Of the 1,422 UG-level sections in the Fall 2013 schedule, UG students input 1,113 of these into their [ESTHER Course Registration Planners]," Tenney stated in a campuswide email. "There was high demand for 213 of these course sections which filled to capacity. " 

Students were able to begin using the add/drop part of the registration process at 7 a.m. April 11. According to Tenney, the opening of time slots for the add/drop period is supposed to give registration priority to students based on their assigned registration group. 

Tenney said the Administrative Systems department handles the add/ drop PINs, which are the last six digits of student ID numbers, that are necessary to make this staggering work on the technical side. 

According to Tenney, the Office of the Registrar has been advised that there was a technical error with the PIN assignment process during this registration period. 

"The outcome [of this error was that] some students were able to register or wait-list earlier than they should have," Tenney said. "We've done some initial review, and in the overwhelming majority of instances this had no impact on registration order. There are, however, a small number of instances where registrants were able to leapfrog over others to get in a course or on a waitlist." 

According to Tenney, the error was not a result of changes made to the initial staggered schedule to accommodate a chemistry test. 

"We were contacted by the chemistry department because of an exam scheduled for 7:45 a.m. [on the morning add/drop opened]," Tenney said. "It really didn't change anything except that we reduced the original 15-minute blocks to 10-minute blocks so that all the blocks finished before the chemistry exam." 

McMurtry College freshman Elizabeth Finley said she noticed the error and was able to use the add/drop system before her assigned time. 

"Last time, with the add/drop thing, you weren't even able to get to the page without your six-digit code," Finley said. "But I just tried it, and it worked. I was able to get into an open class even though it was technically too early." 

McMurtry junior Amanda Wicker said she did not have problems with the add/drop system but that she is not pleased with how registration now works in general. 

"I logged into ESTHER like normal," Wicker said. "I would be really upset about [the technical error], but I got first on the waitlist for my LPAP, so I'm guessing that most people just assumed they could only register at their set time and didn't try for any other time. I'm still much more upset that my 130-plus hours of credit are meaningless." 

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