Students tired of waiting

In the May 16 issue of The Inquirer, we layed out some of the changes you could expect this Fall.

Now, in this issue’s Buzz, we’ve asked what changes the student body would still like to see.

After discussing it among our editorial staff, what we would most like to see improved is the Admissions and Records office.
Pretty much everyone who’s had to deal with the Admissions and Records office has a story.

The brutally long lines, getting a different answer from every staff member you speak to, and the feeling that you aren’t being listened to are commonalities.

While services like the Counseling Office, Disabled Student Services, and the library are critical for student success, Admissions and Records is the most fundamentally important office.

It’s the office tasked with handling whether and to what extent we are DVC students to begin with.

At the end of the day, we’re here because we want to be taking certain classes and earning certain credentials. Dissatisfaction with Admissions and Records means our reason for being at DVC isn’t being handled properly.

There’s blame to share. Too much of the Admissions Office’s time is spent explaining things that students should already know and doing tasks for students that could have been done through WebAdvisor.

The DVC website has more to offer than just a calendar, twitter feed, and a link to WebAdvisor, and everyone will benefit from more students using online resources.

Admissions and Records is also dealt a pretty bad hand because of bureaucratic nonsense that largely impacts their workload.

Students taking new or experimental classes face a lot of issues they don’t anticipate when trying to get their classes in following semesters.
Some courses aren’t recognized by WebAdvisor and the Admissions system as serving a purpose it should, students can’t sign up for their classes online and are forced to try to late add with a code if they can get one, then go to Admissions and file a prerequisite challenge to the dean of their department before they can be added to the class.

These are technical issues that need to be streamlined to make Admissions more productive and the lives of students that much easier.

Still, it’s not okay for students to have to wait in line for half an hour for their turn at the only occupied window at the Admissions office, especially in the first two weeks of school when students have a deadline for adding classes.

If more funding is needed to have at least two people serving students at all times in these first two weeks then it should be appropriated from a less fundamentally important expenditure.

The staff at Admissions and Records are humans, and they have to deal with long hours, long lines, stressed students, and limited resources.

But that’s the job. Managerial and administrative staff need to take accountability for ensuring a healthy work environment and positive student experience.

A shorter line, a more functional system and a bigger smile would give students a great, positive start to the semester.