Toby Zitsman '13 decided to spend Tuesday night on a couch in Moulton Union's lobby in hopes of being the first in line for Wednesday's Phase II course registration, which began at 7:30 a.m. As it happened, his desperate efforts were unnecessary.
"I slept over on one of the couches, but I didn't really need to," said Zitsman, who turned out to be the only person to camp out in a break with the tradition of recent years, when numerous students elected to sleep in Moulton Union on the night before Phase II registration.
And to add insult to injury, Zitsman was not even the first person in line. He ended up being the ninth student to register during Phase II because the line started "while I was passed out on the couch," he said.
The break from the trend of Phase II desperation continued throughout the day, as few people made the trip to the Registrar's Office in the early morning of Phase II.
"There were far [fewer] people there this semester than last year," said Kassey Matoin '13, who woke up at 5 a.m. to get in line. "Even at 7:30 [a.m.] the room was not as full as usual."
Matoin, a biology major, said she only got two of the classes she signed up for, "neither of which helped me with my major." After getting in line at 5:30 a.m., Matoin decided to switch into Neurogenetics, along with Behavioral Ecology and Population Biology.
"When I first got there, a few people were in line sitting on the floor waiting with laptops or work," she added.
"If I had to guess the reason fewer people were there, it's because there were fewer courses people were very eager to sign up for," said Zitsman. "Most classes worth taking are already full."
Once the registrar opened at 7:30 a.m., the line moved fairly quickly.
"I was out of there very fast, probably within 5 minutes," said Matoin.
"I think some students take Phase II very seriously, but this year there seemed to be [fewer] people there," said Mia Colby '13. Colby, who woke up early last year, decided to sleep in this year.
According to an email sent by Associate Registrar Jan Brackett to all students on Tuesday, "There are a number of reasons why you [students] may not have received a course [as] requested." The email noted that 177 course requests were denied because the student did not have the course prerequisite or a signature to override the prerequisite, while 25 course requests were denied due to another course rule.
"From the top-row choices alone, 77 course requests were denied due to a time conflict," the email said.
Zitsman said he switched into Organic Chemistry and "because of a lack of lab times, I had to drop another class and couldn't add anymore."
"I'm very disenchanted with the entire process right now," he said, "because I'm pretty sure I should have been prioritized over some people in Phase I but wasn't, and Phase II was essentially useless with everything [already] taken during Phase I."
For many students, Phase II is a critical period because it allows students to switch some—or all—of their registered classes, as well as sign up for classes they did not get into. For those who missed the Phase I registration deadline on April 28, Phase II is their singular opportunity to sign up for classes.
"I think Phase II is very helpful if you weren't able to get into a class," said Colby. "It helps to relieve stress for people who would otherwise be scrambling to find a class during add/drop."
Phase II registration will end today at 5 p.m. This deadline also applies to students studying abroad, who are instructed to email any class schedule changes to the Registrar's Office.