The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Class registration at UNC used to require waiting in lines, signing up over the phone

Class registration has always been a source of stress for students at UNC.

While some current students feel ConnectCarolina is difficult to navigate, Carson Fish, a UNC graduate and current masters student in library sciences, said its predecessors weren’t much easier.

“There were lots of editorials and stuff in old DTHs basically saying, it’s gonna be a painful process, but like you have to do it,” Fish said.

She said there were two phases of registration prior to the modern system: in-person registration and telephonic.

“You would stand in line and go to different department tables,” Fish said.

Nana Vinar, a 1990 UNC graduate, said she remembers the in-person registration.

“We had newsprint booklets of what classes were available,” said Vinar. “We put together the best we could get and, you know, hoped for the best.”

Vinar said the in-person system needed work because it was difficult to see the big picture of what class schedules would look like over a four-year period.

“That would have been helpful for balancing my semesters, some classes harder, some classes easier,” she said.

In 1990, the University switched to a telephonic registration system.

“You essentially called into this number and there were specific buttons that you pressed for specific departments or class numbers,” Fish said. “You would call in and get busy signals, and have to keep calling and keep calling.”

Fish said ConnectCarolina replaced the telephonic system in 2001. While an undergraduate, Fish said the system would crash more than she would have preferred.

“I don’t know if there are still the crashing problems, I would hope that by now they would have expanded to not have those problems,” she said.

Sophomore Evan Linett said he has mixed feelings about the ConnectCarolina system.

“I feel pretty good about ConnectCarolina when it’s working for me and when I’m getting the classes that I want,” Linett said.

He said he appreciates the security and reliability that ConnectCarolina offers, but wishes there was a better way to contact professors concerning waitlists and closed classes.

Fish said her favorite story she has found in her research concerning registration was in the transition to the telephonic system. The University made an offer to students willing to participate in a trial run of telephonic registration.

“If you participated in that study you got to essentially skip the lines,” Fish said.

Linett said he recognizes the competitive nature of class registration.

“I think we should do it Hunger Games style ... The one person that wins gets all the classes they want and everyone else gets screwed – that’s basically what happens now.”

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.