By: Sruli Fruchter  | 

Fall 2021 Course Registration Resumes for Beren and Wilf Students After Technical Delays

Fall 2021 course registration resumed for Beren and Wilf students on Thursday, May 6 and Tuesday, May 11, respectively, after initially being suspended on May 5 and May 10 due to technical difficulties. The delays occurred during the registration slots of Beren seniors and Wilf juniors.

Beren Campus registration was set to begin on May 5 for seniors, May 6 for juniors, May 7 for sophomores and May 11 for freshmen. The delays pushed the registration dates for seniors and juniors to the following days, and sophomores registered on May 10 at 9 a.m, before Wilf students experienced difficulties. 

Registration for Wilf students began on May 6 for seniors, and the slots for juniors and upper sophomores were planned for May 10, while lower sophomores and freshmen were designated times on May 11. Due to registration being suspended on May 10 in the afternoon, juniors, sophomores and freshmen instead registered on May 11.

On May 5, when upper seniors of Beren Campus began selecting their fall courses at 9 a.m., the MyYU Banner portal, which is used for course registration, indicated that “registration changes” were not allowed and prevented students from signing up for their classes. While this was fixed shortly afterward, students were then locked out of some classes that needed prerequisite courses, even if they had the necessary requirements. This issue continued into the 10 a.m. registration slot assigned to lower seniors.

In an email sent that day to Beren students around 12 p.m., Beren Associate Registrar Aniruddha Das announced that registration was temporarily halted, crediting the delay to a “technical issue.” Once the issue was resolved, Das notified students that the registration slots of seniors, juniors and sophomores were adjusted to “re-prioritize” seniors and that registration would resume the following day on May 6. 

On May 10 around 2:30 p.m., upper and lower juniors of Wilf Campus were prevented from registering after the MyYU portal experienced a “system outage,” according to an email by Wilf Associate Registrar Rabbi Akiva Koenigsberg. He added that registration would be suspended for the remainder of the day. While some juniors did sign up for their desired courses, others could not due to the technical issues.

Four hours later, Rabbi Koenigsberg informed students that registration would resume the following day on May 11, beginning with upper juniors at 11:30 a.m. Each following hour, the lower grade would be able to register.

On April 27, Information Technology Services (ITS) emailed students about the “upgrade of Banner Database Systems,” which began on April 30 and ended on May 2. As of publication, ITS did not respond to The Commentator’s inquiries regarding how, if at all, these changes affected the registration difficulties experienced by students.

As per standard policy, students can continue to add courses until Sept. 10 and drop courses without a “W” — which would not indicate a “W” on one’s transcript — until Oct. 18. The drop date with a “W” requires permission from an academic advisor and ends on Dec. 2.

Some students expressed annoyance about the situation. “It's very upsetting after all the work being done to the website that it can't function on such a day planned and expected for high traffic, like registration,” shared Akiva Levy (YC ‘22). “I planned my schedule around [the original] registration, and I'm busy during the new time. It's very upsetting and very inconvenient. It seems fairly unprofessional and unprepared of YU to be doing this — the traffic should be expected.”

Levy felt that the university was unprepared for the high traffic usage, adding that “it's very unfair and inconvenient to expect the students to move around their schedule for registration.” 

Moshe Hecht (YC ‘22) also experienced difficulties. “It was frustrating trying to register for classes and being locked out, unsure if some of the classes I had hoped to take would be filled up,” said Hecht, who is classified as an upper junior. “Nevertheless, I think this is an issue YU can learn from in the future by making sure everything is up to code with their systems before class registration begins.”

Others, like Lily Polonetsky (SCW ‘22), were not significantly affected by the technical issues. “Mistakes happen,” she said. “Thankfully it wasn't such a big deal for me because I got into the classes I needed, and the classes I couldn't get into were specific for my major, so I knew I would be able to get in once the issue was resolved. I understand it's frustrating but my personal experience wasn't.”

Nissim Cantor (YC ‘23) had a similar experience. “Thankfully, I was able to register for all of my secular classes before the system crashed,” he explained. “When I attempted to register for my shiur less than thirty seconds later, the system was no longer functioning. Fortunately, I was able to register for my shiur after about twenty minutes, but I know that many of my friends were not as lucky.”

University Registrar Jennifer Spiegel did not respond to The Commentator’s request for comment about the registration difficulties.

Photo Caption: Course registration for Beren and Wilf students was temporarily suspended due to technical issues.

Photo Credit: Yeshiva University