The enrollment echelon: My.Butler’s retro style causes panic

Illustration by Gabbie Evans

MADELEINE LUCCHETTI | OPINION COLUMNIST | mlucchet@butler.edu

What high schoolers do not see when they click through the aesthetically pleasing, smoothly-branded “Butler.edu” is its evil twin sister, “My.Butler.edu” — a black hole of broken links and outdated, 2000s-esque graphics.

It is a portal for students that is not exclusive to Butler, and is commonly used by universities nationwide.

My.Butler’s heyday rolls around every semester, after students have dedicated hours of frustration organizing the courses they want (or desperately need) to take into the Shopping Cart function.

The snazzy Butler.edu reads, “Standard enrollment appointments are determined by credit hours completed, then by class.”

It is resemblant of an incredibly stressful Christmas morning: waking up to either blaring red X’s or happy green dots, indicating which classes have a seat left for you.

Audrey Lukacz is a sophomore and a dance pedagogy major. She recently faced rejection from a class desperately needed for her major requirements.

“I needed to take psychology for pedagogy, but it was closed by the time of my appointment,” Lukacz said. “I emailed the professor, who said he’d love to have me in the class, but it turned out there were already 15 majors and minors ahead of me waiting to get in.”

Inability to take necessary classes during the fall or spring semesters often forces Dawgs into taking summer classes. Whether online or on campus, these pricey credit hours average $620 a pop, adding to the already heinous tuition checks. It can be demoralizing to lose a class seat by having an enrollment appointment a few hours too late, leading to a summer of academia.

This is certainly not a Butler-exclusive issue, and, in true Thanksgiving spirit, we are thankful that our smaller campus environment can lead to fostered relationships between students and staff.

Butler faculty members are generally willing to placate student tears. Meeting with professors, or emailing the heads of departments, can do a world of good. Advisors are tasked with assisting their students, especially during enrollment times. Contacting them may be proactive in mapping out a multi-semester plan of attack.

Still, small class sizes mean enrollment season sends the general Butler population into fits of rage.

Well, not everyone.

“Select undergraduate students are given priority enrollment appointments that place them at the front of their class,” according the Butler website. “These priority enrollment appointments are determined by membership in a priority registration group, then projected credit hours, then class.”

Basically, certain demographics of kids, like those registered in Student Disability Services, receive the earliest enrollment times, which means the most open class pickings.  

Likewise, Butler basketball stars (and the other hoards of NCAA athletes) must rarely face the wrath of My.Butler.

They are spared by a clause in the Butler Student Athlete Handbook: “Student-athletes will be awarded priority registration for the semesters of their NCAA Championship athletic participation. During these semesters as determined by sport participation, student-athletes are moved to the front of their class for course registration.”

Athletes are often forced to travel and/or miss chunks of class time for games, leading to downward-spiraling grades within our competitive academic environment. Early registration is purely meant to lessen some of the NCAA scheduling overlap, in the interests of student academic welfare.

While it may seem unfair when the defensive linemen are claiming your 300-level marketing class, athletic policies set by the NCAA are actually what is in effect here. The Butler football organization is not trying to victimize your double minor.

Honors program students also reap the benefits of earlier enrollment.

We cannot begrudge them really, since this is one of the skimpy perks Cum Laude kids get —  besides the two extra words on their diplomas.

Junior Becca Lewis is a biology and chemistry double major, and serves as the current orientation chair for Student Honors Council. She will take over as president next semester.

Lewis emphasized how early enrollment appointments are incentivized for such students.

“Early enrollment is such a huge perk that comes with being in the honors program because it gives students a lot more freedom over their schedules,” Lewis said. “Not only does it help us get the classes we need, but it also makes it a lot easier to get the teachers and times we want.”

The “holier-than-thou” Honors students often take niche classes that are not applicable to the rest of us, anyway. They nab the spots in 9 a.m. Strength and Conditioning PWB versus the 8 a.m., which isn’t really threatening to our plebeian coursework.

My.Butler’s retro style and talent for freezing certainly amplifies student anxiety. Butler administration has done its part in assisting students whose circumstances require early enrollment, and our stellar faculty often pulls strings when it comes to squeezing a student into a full class. Utilize resources like them! When you’re counting your blessings on Thanksgiving, count them twice.

As for #NotMy.Butler, let’s write “software update” on our collective Christmas wish. Maybe IT Santa will pay campus a visit, making our New Year truly merry and bright.

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