It’s Tele-BEARS season! And that means you, fellow Cal student, are entitled to all the joys of missed appointments, incomprehensible wait lists and punched-out computer screens. But no matter how frustrating Tele-BEARS can be, just remember that somebody somewhere always has it worse than you do.
1. San Jose State University
Why it’s worse: Wait lists (or the lack thereof)
We all know how much people hate the wait lists on Tele-BEARS. It’s almost a science: Even if you’re No. 1 on the wait list a few days after the start of school, the schmuck who’s No. 39 will somehow find a way to get in instead of you. So much for that breadth requirement. But what about this: What if there was no waitlist? That might be absolutely ridiculous, but it’s also absolutely the reality at San Jose State University. After the first day of classes, the wait list goes the way a of college student’s bank account: It’s gone. If you haven’t gotten into a class by that time, your only option is to go to the professor and throw yourself at his or her feet for mercy (or to get a special code that can get you into the class). This also creates huge problems of miscommunication: A class may appear open on the website, but go to the professor, and he or she has already been sweet-talked into giving out all the codes. It’s a mess. Tele-BEARS screws you, but at least it’s polite enough to tell you when you’ve been screwed. Whoops. But hey, underwater astrology might be fun! Right?
2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Why it’s worse: Reserved spaces for nonmajors (or, again, the lack thereof)
People love to complain about Tele-BEARS reserving seats for people in different majors and colleges. Listen to some of them, and you’d think it was all part of some socialist plot to steal seats from people who need them (some people just really like to whine, if you haven’t noticed). But these people ignore a very important fact: Sometimes there’s a reason people who don’t have a major or want to switch should have some seats saved for them. Consider one such predicament: A student wants to transfer into engineering but can’t because there’s no space put aside for her in the needed prerequisite classes. This is precisely the reason Tele-BEARS reserves seats in a class such as CS 61A (which is large enough to have its own ZIP code by now) for undecided majors and nonengineers. Some of us are human and, God forbid, want to have options if we don’t pick the right major the first time. A situation like the one at UIUC, on the other hand, is the perfect recipe for being caught in a vicious cycle so bad it makes Taylor Swift’s love life look optimistic.
3. University of Hawaii at Manna
Why it’s worse: Lack of guidance
You probably remember all of the bad things about your first registration session on Tele-BEARS. Let’s jog your brain and extract those repressed memories for a minute. You were panicking, figuring out what the hell the difference between the 15 different English R1A sessions was and why there was a waitlist for one professor while the other had 300 open slots (hello, Math 1A). But here’s something you probably don’t remember: There was a CalSO leader standing next to you, experienced with the system and trained to get you out of that mess mostly sane. We at the Clog wouldn’t have made it past the home screen without them. It’s a luxury we took for granted, until we heard about the sign-up system at U Hawaii. Instead of knowledgeable CalSO leaders helping them, students are stuck with GSIs who are mostly clueless about the registration process. Or rather, as U Hawaii freshman Maleka Mau elegantly put it, the GSIs “could give a rat’s ass about the incoming freshmen or transfer students.” Remember that one horrible GSI you had for math? The one who barely spoke English? Imagine if he was helping you plan your Tele-BEARS schedule. It’s enough to move us to tears.
4. San Francisco State University
Why it’s worse: Everything. Literally everything.
Some people have compared Tele-BEARS to jumping through a series of hoops. Which, granted, very well may be true. But at San Francisco State University, those hoops are flaming. And on top of moving cars. And probably radioactive.
Let’s start with a very simple flaw: All classes in the registration book are in military time. That’s right, that stuff you heard screamed in the middle of “Saving Private Ryan.” It sounds hella cool, but it really isn’t intuitive. Call us uncultured, but we really don’t want to have to figure out what the hell 17:30 means when we’re panicking in the middle of class sign-up. By the way, remember how we said registration book? We meant it. Literally. The Internet apparently isn’t a thing anymore. The books students at SFSU use during registration clearly can’t show which classes are open, so getting a complete schedule takes multiple attempts. SFSU freshman Justine Gleason summed it up best: “There wasn’t much faculty around to help, either, so the process was incredibly slow and inefficient … Other people were driven to the point of insanity.” At least ScheduleBuilder is online and updated fairly frequently (or at least when the IT department isn’t asleep or playing Plants vs. Zombies).
God bless Tele-BEARS.
Contact Sherdil Niyaz at [email protected]