Scheduling Hell

It is hard for me to relate the hellish experience I had to go through this past week, but as Aeneas says to Dido in Virgil’s Aeneid, “ Although my mind shudders to remember and I recoil from my grief, I will begin.” Like everybody else, I was excited to come back to Andover. I was excited to see all my friends, I was excited to move into my new dorm room, and I was especially excited to start my new classes. But I soon realized that my schedule was plagued with problems. Not only had I not been given a science, but I found out that the Rel-Phil course I wanted to take had been moved to winter term, so I was placed into a history course that I never knew existed. I decided to give the history course a try, and Dr. Cernota was willing to add a Rel-Phil to my course load since I had been denied both a science and my original Rel-Phil choice. So I went to class on my first day thinking that my problems had been solved, but oh was I wrong. I found out that the math class I was in was a little too advanced for me, and my Latin teacher recommended that I take Greek since I am applying to college as a classics major. With these proposed changes in mind, I filled out add/drop slips, had them signed by the appropriate people, and proceeded to the scheduling office thinking my schedule would be changed in two minutes. Two minutes turned into three days. On my arrival (this was on Tuesday by the way) I was informed that only people with incomplete schedules could change their schedules right now, and that my add/drop slips would not be tended to for a few days. And so I waited. But a few days later, my schedule was unchanged. It was not until 10:30pm on a Thursday night that Dr. Cernota e-mailed me and told me he could move me into the math class I wanted to take, but it would have to be at a different period… the same period that my Greek class was to meet. I haggled with him and he finally agreed to add both the math and Greek course. I know I am not the only person to go through this type of an experience, and I am sure that my experience seems relatively pleasant compared to some. The way the scheduling office is currently operating is totally ridiculous and inefficient. But this problem could easily be remedied with a few changes. First of all, changes should be made on a first-come-first-serve basis. It does not seem fair for the scheduling officer to decide that a student with an incomplete schedule has a more urgent problem than a student who wants to change classes. Both kids are missing the same amount of class time by not having a correct schedule, thus both problems are equally legitimate, and should be attended to as they come in. Right now, the scheduling office is way too small to handle all of these problems. Instead of having one scheduling officer who is a small part of the Dean of Studies Office, a new Scheduling Department should be created with several officers and secretaries. By doing this, the amount of schedules fixed per day would greatly increase, and the several scheduling officers could collectively achieve this while still doing less work individually. Finally, this whole add/drop slip process should end. Not only is it inefficient, but is a burden to have to run around collecting signatures. Instead, an electrical version of this procedure should be created. A student could simply fill out a slip on his/her computer, and from there send it to his/her advisor or the correct department, who could then forward to one of the many new scheduling officers in the enlarged Scheduling Department. It does not matter whether one or all of these changes are actually implemented. What matters is that the scheduling problems get fixed as soon as possible.