How to get off the waitlist

waitlistInterests at Brown may vary, but for anyone who dabbles in electives, the desire to get into a class off a waitlist is nearly universal.

Maybe you’re an underclassmen, and your dream class was filled before you even got the chance to register. Maybe you’re a lazy senior who didn’t feel like waking up at 8 a.m. to solidify your shopping cart. While some have walked into a classroom they didn’t have a spot in, thought, “this syllabus is [insert fire emoji]”, and immediately started plotting on how to secure that override, others get immediately intimidated by that throng of people huddled by the door and decide to try their luck elsewhere. We’re here to help.

Sort of. We’re probably legally, and certainly morally obligated to suggest that you don’t try any of the methods listed below (although some of them are actually…good ideas?). But, for those of you that have more than a drop of Slytherin in their veins, here are some quasi-acceptable (read: not at all acceptable) ways to get off of those waitlists.

  • Fake an email to half of the registered class that the registrar has switched the room assignment. Reap the benefits of their naivety.
  • Legally change your name to whoever holds the first spot on the waitlist.

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Off (Other Side of) the Hill: Taking a RISD class

Part of the charm of College Hill comes from the long-standing relationship between Brown and RISD students; Providence is the creative capital after all, and we’ve got the two artsiest (and apparently one of the douchiest, according to GQ) schools right at our fingertips. The opportunity for Brown students to take RISD classes, and vice versa, fosters a really unique dynamic that you should definitely take advantage of, if scheduling and coursework permits.

As one can see from RISD’s unofficial mascot, they go pretty hard in the paint, and you’ll have to invest hours on hours for the final critique. But by the end, you’ll have gained knowledge of a niche skill, made enough friends to be personally invited to a warehouse party (brownie points if you get an invitation to Artist’s Ball), and have something tangible to show for your efforts.

If those reasons have peaked your curiosity about shopping for a RISD studio, you might be asking: “Where do I even begin?” I was in the same boat a couple weeks ago, and I’m still learning to navigate the waters. Luckily, sending an excessive number of e-mails and asking around yielded a list of helpful tips and interesting classes to check out, some of which you might remember from RISD Wintersession 2016 Course Superlatives.

The process of registering goes a little something like this:

Step 1: Go to JWW and obtain a cross-registration form from the 3rd floor.

Step 2: Get the instructor to sign it.

Step 3: Get the RISD registrar to sign it.

Step 4: Get the Brown registrar to sign it.

A more detailed description can be found here, a website about cross-registration created by Patchi Dranoff, RISD ’15.

TIPS & TRICKS:

  • E-mail the department head or the department administrative coordinator. Professors may be slow to respond, and before you know it, all of the coveted studios will be full.
  • Jump on this earlier than later because professors may let people in based on the order in which they e-mailed.
  • GO TO THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS.
  • WebAdvisor has about the same user-friendliness as Banner, but it’s not hard to learn. Each class has a Status column that communicates the probability of you weaseling your way in.
  • If the class is open, go for it. If you’re waitlisted, you may get in if you show up on the first day of class, but no guarantees, so keep looking around. If it’s closed, move on.
  • It is not an automatic deal breaker when a class specifies that it’s designated for ____ Majors only. Brown students have taken Majors Only studios before.
  • Be prepared to drop some bank on supplies, tools, and a fee as a non-major. WebAdvisor (RISD’s version of Banner) includes the price of materials in the class descriptions.
  • TAKE VISA0100. You can’t take a RISD course without it. If you don’t get a spot via the VISA lottery, don’t be discouraged. Show up to all the sections that work with your schedule and don’t stop attending until the professor physically pushes you out of the room.
  • You might be intimidated by the thought of seeming like a complete amateur in class, but we’ve heard more stories of a Brown student feeling welcomed by a class at RISD than alienated.
  • Industrial design, furniture, and textiles classes typically have high barriers to entry due to their popularity, especially during Wintersession.
  • You can never go wrong with a ceramics studio.

And last, but certainly not the least:

What can I take at RISD?

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Ch-ch-ch-changes: Courses @ Brown

There are a few things all Brown students can agree on. Meal plan makes no sense. BioMed windows are the best place on campus to check yourself out. The circle dance statue is weird. A quintessential fact-of-life for any Brunonian is that registration is a nightmare. We’re not just talking pre-registration, either. This goes way beyond that awful moment when Banner tells you the seminar you wanted to take is capped; no one likes searching desperately through Banner to fill up their cart, or staring at those awful red boxes that only serve to remind you how much choosing classes sucks.

The Registrar’s Office and the Office of the Dean of College have decided to make registering for classes slightly less painful by introducing the new course selection platform Courses @ Brown.

Check it out:

~sleek~

~sleek~

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Friendly Reminder: Shopping Period ends today

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“Wow, I love that we can access Banner on this shiny doohickey!” “I know! Technology these days! But why did we have to go to the Gap to do this?”

After a brief extension due last week’s snow storm, today is finally the last day of shopping period. Hopefully by now you’ve narrowed down from the 20 classes you had in your cart at the start of the semester. If not, the deadline to add a classes without a fee is today at 5 p.m. 

At 5 p.m. Banner will be taken down for an hour, at which point all course additions will require an instructor override and a $15 fee. The deadline to add a course with a fee, change from audit to credit, or switch between letter grade and S/NC, is Wednesday, February 18.

Happy last day of Shopping Period!

Image via Jokichi Matsubara ’18. 


Frosh-cessities: Meiks in the Unit and tips for pre-registration

It’s that time of year again: registration. For me, a first-semester freshman, registration brings back memories of the following: frantically—and unsuccessfully—trying to log in to Banner, coming to the sad realization that the classes I wanted were full after I had finally connected to the Internet, and sending out pathetic, desperate emails to professors that I had never spoken to before. If this sounds familiar to you, don’t worry. This semester, Meiklejohns are here to hold our hands throughout the process.

Windows-Issues

Tonight, the Meiklejohns are holding a special pre-registration event called “Meiks in the Unit” to answer any last minute questions we freshmen might have. The Meiks will be set up in the Arnold and Mo-Champ lounges from 7-9 p.m. to help you handle the imminent doom of pre-registration. It’s a great opportunity to talk to people who have gone through the hellish experience of registration before. The Meiks who will be present are also well-versed in a wide range of subjects, so don’t think you won’t find any help if you have a unique concentration!

Huge bonus: they are serving free KABOB AND CURRY. If any freshman (or human) is unaware of this fine establishment, know that Kabob and Curry is a delicious restaurant Thayer. Yelp gives it 4 out of 5 stars. Need I say more? (Tips for pre-reg after the jump.) Continue Reading


BlogDH Explains: Course Registration

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As registration kicks into gear, many freshmen wonder, “Why is there a specific time for registration? Don’t I just sign up for whatever I want to take whenever I want to take it?”

Well… kind of. That’s the beauty of the New Curriculum, but there’s still some more structure to course selection than what meets the eye. Navigating Banner is similar to the art of surviving the Fantasy Football draft. We’re here to step in as your very own MeikleBlog; put on your lifejacket because BlogDH is here to help you stay afloat during the registration process. Here are some of the key nuggets of registration wisdom:

Know your capped courses. Plenty of awesome courses have caps (a.k.a. a limit to how many students can take the course). This becomes a problem when 100 students want to take Intro to Creative Nonfiction with Michael Stewart and there are only 17 seats in the class. Caps vary, and plenty of great courses are lectures without caps. A lot of the time, though, a course you may want to take will be capped; this is why you need to take a look at the courses that interest you and how many people students can be in each of those classes.

Make sure you get your pin. This is everything. You won’t be able to register without it, and you can definitely wave goodbye to a seat in a capped seat if you’re pin-less. You need this ahead of time—if your first-year advisor doesn’t give this to you before you leave his/her office, you’re going to have to beg for it before registration begins at 7 p.m. on September 3rd, and that’s probably the last thing you’re going to want to do.

Have a game plan. You can talk to your Meik about this, but here’s our advice: Make sure your capped courses in your cart first. You can always register for courses without caps after you ensure that you’ve gotten into your capped classes. You should register for five classes, even though you don’t intend to take five. (The courses you register for are likely to change during Shopping Period, but that’s a whole other shindig. Just know that you’re not absolutely bound to the courses you choose in this go-around.) Continue Reading