Peer advisors answer Winter Intercession questions

Every year, as registration time rolls around, the students at Sonoma State University seem to have higher stress levels than usual. It is a known fact on campus that getting the classes you need have always been difficult and often lead to having to take summer or winter courses.

Registration for winter classes opened on Monday Oct. 15. Freshman trying to get ahead or seniors trying to graduate on time especially feel the stress about registering for winter classes.

For all the students scrambling to get classes, Student Peer Advising is here to help. SPA is part of student services, located in Salazar 1070 and their role on campus is to help students figure out their general education requirements, graduation requirements and how to use the various tools on My SSU, like the AR Reports, degree planner and seawolf scheduler.

Kate Lathrop, a senior, struggled to get into her major classes this Fall. “When I went to register, three of my classes filled up right before my time,” said Lathrop. This is the problem that many students at Sonoma State University have.

Due to the school being so small, classes fill up quickly, especially in impacted majors like Lathrop’s major, Business. “I feel like it has always been impossible getting classes. Every year something has always gone wrong for me.” Lathrop explains that she has to take one class during Winter Intersession this year to stay on track to graduate in May 2019.

Like many other students, Allie Palmer, a sophomore, had not heard of Student Peer Advising until this past week. When asked about her feelings towards registration, Palmer said, “It’s stressful because we’re trying to get GEs done and some of us are adding in major classes for the first time.”

Lana Harris, one of the senior peer advisors, sees students come in for many different reasons. “Students come in for reasons like not getting the classes they need, problems registering because of holds or because some major advisors are not up to date with the new general education pattern requirements,” said Harris.

Her best advice is, “It’s always better to come in the weeks leading up to registration than the week of registration.” There is one aspect of registration that a lot of students are not aware of. The conditional swap is a feature that allows students to enroll themselves in their backup class, then swap to get onto the waitlist of a full class. If the student gets off the waitlist of the full class, they will be enrolled in that one and dropped from the backup class.

Harris’s favorite part about her job is working directly with people. Her role in SPA made her realize this was something she wanted to do so she is looking into getting her masters in higher education and making a career out of it.

Some members of SPA even go into some departments and get information on which classes are restricted to majors only and if more sections will be opened up.

There has not been an instance where the student peer advisors were not able to find classes for a student to make them a schedule. Odds are that you can search around and find something.