Academic Advising — "We'll make you a candidate for the other AA"

I attempt to set things straight with my registration status. The Hopkins bureaucracy is predictably unhelpful.

Oh and the Baltimore Sun just called me and tried to sell a subscription, even though I can get the paper for free on campus, and I already wasted about 20 minutes of their time with their last call.

Here's what happened: Academic Advising sent out emails informing us that we "must have an appointment" for Junior Clearance by March 11th. They then sent out subsequent emails which changed the deadline of making the appointment to March 7th. I was sick during that week and was finally able to call on March 9th, when I was able to get an appointment for the day after Spring Break, which began on March 12th. After completing the procedure, the hold on my registration remained. After getting bounced back and forth between Academic Advising and the registrar, an advisor told me that I had missed the deadline and was out of luck, as a "punishment." She said that they had to use this policy because they have to meet with all of the Juniors and Freshmen in the Spring (i.e. do their job), and they want to encourage Juniors to meet with them in the early part of the semester.

My first question is: How is this punishment system supposed to instill change in student behavior? They are punishing this year's Juniors... so they can be sure that we'll do Junior Clearance early the next time we're Juniors?

And it may sound like I procrastinated terribly with this procedure, but I didn't. Junior clearance involved more than just the meeting with Academic Advising; I had to first complete as survey and submit it online, then fill out a form, and then meet with and get a signature from my faculty advisor. I completed the pointless survey almost immediately, and shortly after I received the first email explaining this part of the procedure, I made and attended an appointment with my faculty advisor, and got the necessary signature. The only problem came when I was scheduling with Academic Advising. I was pretty sure I had until March 11th, so I didn't make an appointment during the week or so when I knew my schedule was in flux with out of town meetings. As the deadline came within just over a week, I unfortunately got sick. I did, however, call and make an appointment before March 11th, as indicated in the first emails. In fact, I received at least three emails stating that I needed to "have an appointment" by March 11th before they sent any mentioning March 7th. I didn't notice the March 7th date until after the date had passed, when I recovered from my illness and went to look up Academic Advising's phone number. The reason I didn't notice the date earlier is because they sent out several emails about the procedure, all of which appeared to contain the same information. After the first three on the subject, I stopped reading them carefully. These reminders were in addition to the multitude of other mail I receive from JHU daily, most of it irrelevant, at two email addresses. I have my Hotmail account still active for the sole purpose of getting emails from Hopkins since they have refused for three years to change my email address in their records. I've added the Peanuts daily comic to that address as an incentive for me to check it more often.

Anyway, at my meeting today I explained my situation. I pointed out that they sent conflicting emails and I told them I was sick, but that had no effect. There is no practical reason for them to keep the hold. Nobody is gaining anything from this. It is something that they will have to release eventually (with the click of a button), but they are delaying it by two days simply as an unfair punishment.

A two day delay may not sound like a lot, but classes fill up within the first half hour of registration here, and I always have a tough time getting the classes I want, since they tend to be inherently small due to their format. This punishment is only making it worse. Since they gave me a punishment which serves no purpose other than pure punishment, I think I will return the favor. I plan on making a slew of unnecessary appointments with them during registration, unless anyone else can suggest a better way for me to vent my anger towards them. Remember that the standard requirements of a punishment (rehabilitation, education, etc.) do not apply in this case, so it should be pretty easy.

Posted: Monday - April 11, 2005 at 01:45 PM