COLUMN: UIS, While Unique, Desperately Needs An Update
Published: Sunday, February 16, 2014
Updated: Sunday, February 16, 2014 22:02
While Boston College works extremely hard on the upkeep of its campus, the same cannot be said for the class registration process. BC UIS is the online portal used by all undergraduate students to register for classes each semester. Aside from horrible pick times and the disadvantages of being an underclassman, students are also forced to face the challenges of the BC UIS system.
Upon logging in, students enter a virtual time machine that takes them back to a time where advances in technology were apparently obsolete. While the rest of the world has evolved over time, BC UIS has not. Not fast at typing? Not good at memorizing? If this is the case, there is no hope for you. BC UIS requires instantaneous decisions. A student must have a plan and be ready for battle prior to logging into the system. Not only are students expected to memorize or use a cheat sheet for the class codes of the courses they desire, but they are also forced to race other students to see who can add and save classes first. I do not understand why a simple click cannot suffice. Nothing on the portal is a clickable link; everything must be manually typed, down to the corresponding section number of each course.
No one has truly experienced frustration until he or she has accidentally lost their spot in a class because he or she failed to type “save” after already having added a class to their portal. Therefore, it is possible to still lose a class even after already adding it your portal.
Unfortunately, this is a common mistake to fall victim to in the heat of the moment when the pressure it on. Students should be able to add classes ahead of time and then at their assigned pick-times they will be able to view if the class is still available or not. Why can other universities figure out a way to simplify this already stressful process? Why must BC create these unnecessary complications?
With only a limited amount of classes and limited spots in each class, this process produces a potent need for an exceptional pick time. The entire system is solely based on luck. Students do not get priority for certain classes based on their majors, as they should. Some majors require courses to be taken in a particular order. If students fail to obtain a spot in specific entry-level courses, they are then restricted from taking higher-level courses.
Being a communication major myself, I have experienced firsthand how a student can potentially go an entire semester without taking classes in their major. Even seniors who are supposed to be given the “best” pick times are still left trying to compete with other seniors, who are given better pick times, for classes they have waited all four years to take. This issue is ever more prominent with courses that only offer one section each semester.
BC UIS can only be accessed on computers that have the software already downloaded. The fact that the BC UIS system is still not fully compatible with Mac computers that have the OS Maverick update is just another manifestation of the system’s outdated nature.
It cannot even keep up with today’s newest technology. Apple is taking over, leaving almost every college student in the possession of a Mac computer. Since the majority of students are up to date on the most current updates of technology, this issue is incredibly annoying and inconvenient.