It’s the most stressful time of year for a University of Toronto student and it’s not even exams. It’s not even during the regular school year, but during the summer: course registration on the Repository of Student Information (ROSI).

Imagine you’re like me: majoring in English, with a double minor in Drama and Writing and Rhetoric. Each one of these programs has its own set of course requirements that you must somehow fit into your course calendar for not only this year, but the two that succeed it.

We all remember what happened during course registration last year. At least, I do. Due to system failures on ROSI, many of us couldn’t even get in at our start times. I had spent a good hour planning out my year and fitting courses into my schedule only to find that when I sat down for my course registration at 3:30 p.m., one of my friends, who is in the sciences, still couldn’t get in. Her start time was at 1:00 p.m.

Now, to say that I panicked would be an understatement. I spent an hour typing and retyping my information into the login page. When I finally got in after what seemed like forever, most of the classes I planned to take had already filled up. So I was left to scramble through my calendar and timetable, entering courses I didn’t even want to take or pay for just so I could hope to meet requirements necessary to emerge from U of T’s hallowed halls with a degree. I didn’t even get into half of the new courses I chose. Sometimes ROSI logged me out while I was waiting, which simply added insult to injury as I tried in vain to get back in.

U of T’s admin would later concede the difficulty students had with their course registration, promising that next year would be better. I must ask: is there not a better way? Is there no way U of T, one of the best schools in Canada, can ameliorate this system?

I have an idea of my own. As I mentioned, my friend in the sciences got to have an earlier start time. This is ridiculous. There is way more competition to get into smaller Arts classes than to get into larger Science classes. Despite the time it took her to get into ROSI, my friend found not a single one of her classes filled. I propose that Arts students be given earlier start times than Science students in their years. Last year, as the Arts students logged on, the server was still being clogged by all the Sciences students trying to get in. If this were reversed perhaps the Arts students could get their course registration out of the way without all the added traffic in the system.

It’s worth mentioning that this year is shaping up to be just as bad as the last. I spent two hours planning the next two years of my life this past Saturday. All the courses I chose were not only listed in the Calendar, but also the Timetable. I noticed that a couple said they weren’t offered in the 2009/2010 year, so I figured I might as well check with ROSI to see if they were offered this year. To my surprise, not only were those courses not offered, but other ones I had chosen (that were in both the calendar and timetable) were not offered either. And so it begins. How can U of T’s students be expected to choose their courses when they have Calendars and Timetables that aren’t even updated properly? Is the university so busy that they can’t be bothered to change the list that says “not offered in the 2009/2010 year” to “not offered in the 2010/2011 year”? What about the people who don’t check ROSI to make sure their class is offered? And why can U of T not give us a break?

The facts are simple. U of T needs to do a little to keep its students happy during course registration time. We need a Calendar and Timetable that are truly their latest, updated versions. Don’t worry about giving them to us the first week of April. Give them on the last week, as long as they have accurate courses. We also need a course registration system that does not crash when we use it. Seems simple, right? So why aren’t we getting it?