The beginning of the semester at Southern, and really any institution, can be extremely hectic for incoming and returning students that it can deter them from a healthy semester. Our first days at a university are expected to be full of new experiences and breathing in the vitality of this fresh location, but many students spend their first days straddled between the Financial Aid Office, Cashier’s Office and the Registrar’s Office. Experiencing this madness with thousands of other students can ruin the students’ preparations for the challenges ahead, and can ruin their education all together.
For myself, the issues were severely overwhelming. After an 8 hour flight from my home of Los Angeles, I expected my trip to end with me settling into my dorm and preparing for the week. Instead, my first night in Louisiana was spent sleeping on the couch of a friend-of-a-friend. Although I was lucky enough to have shelter for the night, many other students were also thousands of miles away from home with nowhere to lay their heads.
These issues were only the tip of the iceberg for many students, including myself. For many of us, we had little time to reel from this discord, and now were thrown full-throttle into our schedules. Switching in and out of classes while still trying to fix issues with your room and board is a terrible combination.
Fortunately, it appears as though there may be an answer to this madness. According to new information provided by the Office of Student Affairs, students will have to have completed any registration and financial aid processes before they leave this semester. To be more accurate, students must complete their registration, regardless of what their future plans may be, before we leave in May, and financial aid must be completed before July 1. This is an anticipated solution to any major issues, allowing students a better start to the new semester.
However, there is a flaw to this method, and it isn’t a miniscule one. Many students have enough difficulties when it comes to getting their tuition and fees paid by the fall - requiring them to have paid these off in the early summer definitely won’t be any easier. This new system may become the worst obstacle for registering students, specifically those who cannot rely on financial aid. Hopefully, this complication will be at least partially solved, as these students deserve to have to be taken into consideration. This new system will definitely create a more efficient registration process for a good number of students at Southern. It might not necessarily be the most fitting, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.