I love going to Drew, don’t get me wrong. I’ve had incredible opportunities here that I would never have been given had I attended another university. From study abroad programs to seeing Seth Meyers when he came to speak, Drew has been great to me. That being said, I feel, and I know that others agree, that there are a few offices that could really see some improvement, even in things as simple as addressing communication. Namely, the Registrar’s Office.
Now, I don’t blame anyone specific in Registrar, as it is naïve to assume one or two people are to blame for problems like this, but there is clearly a problem when one makes a complaint about an office and can find no one to defend it. The office handles a lot of issues for students, from making sure we get credits where they are deserved to helping us get our transcripts when our applications for programs and grad schools require them. But when you actually need help on one of these things, it somehow becomes the most complex process known to man.
Recently I had to go through the Registrar for information about how to obtain a transcript while off campus, and rather than providing clear instructions in one email, it seemed like a game of cat and mouse as only parts of steps were explained in each email, and by the end, it became a puzzle that I had to decipher in order to understand exactly how the process worked. I was told that they could possibly fax my transcript, but when I sent the number, I was sent another email explaining that I had to make a formal request through a third party site the university uses. When I filled out all of the information on the site, it turned out that it was impossible to request a fax, and that $22 would have to be paid to have it mailed. I understand that there is a certain process to transcript requests, but it would be nice if they had simply told me that getting my transcript would be impossible via fax that first day, rather than making me go through email exchanges for four days to no avail.
My friend has had similar problems with unclear information provided by the Registrar’s Office in terms of getting credit for classes she’s taken. First, an Art History course that was meant to fill her Art requirement was put as her Humanities requirement, despite the fact that she was already in another course that applied to Humanities and no others that filled the Art requirement. Her advanced Chemistry course suddenly no longer went toward her major after winter break, and no one could explain to her why the sudden change occurred. Her Quantitative requirement that was supposed to be filled by AP courses from high school was suddenly put as ‘in progress’ because Chemistry took that spot, and her new viola lessons still did nothing to fix the missing Art requirement.
So basically, she had filled several requirements, but the Registrar would not give her credit where it should have been given, and they have still not addressed the problem.
I get it, we have around 1,600 undergraduate students, and the Registrar is in charge of a lot of different parts of these students’ lives, but there needs to be a less complicated way for students to work with the office. It’s a stressful experience every time, and that is exactly what a college undergrad does not need in their life.