International Media Students unsure of waitlist status

Written By Lauren Ortego, Co-Copy Desk Chief

For the spring course International Media, Point Park’s registration program, Jenzabar, is unable to create wait lists for dual-listed courses going into the spring semester.

Helen Fallon, the professor who teaches the course, has to keep her own personal waitlist for the class and the subsequent trip to Italy that comes at the end of it. Jenzabar, the company Point Park uses for registering, does not allow a waitlist for dual-listed courses, meaning that the class is both for graduate and undergraduate students.

“My course is packed,” Fallon said. “So what I’ve been trying to keep on top of is keeping my own waiting list in case anyone drops out. But this is not your usual course.”

According to an associate at the registrar office, Francesca Sirianni said Point Park is not the only university to experience these issues; it’s a program-wide problem among Jenzabar-using schools.

Point Park originally had waitlists for dual-listed classes, but began experiencing an issue similar to Fallon’s shortly after the newly-created waitlist system.

“In a dual-listed course, when a student would sign up for the waitlist, the program would notify students who were already on the waitlist that they could add the class – that a spot would open up when it didn’t,” Sirianni said. “Which was obviously a huge problem.”

According to Sirianni, when Point Park reached out to Jenzabar, the company told them the waitlist function was currently unavailable for dual-listed classes, and suggested the school simply turn it off.

Jenzabar additionally told Point Park that they were working on a fix; Sirianni said the program generally offers updates every few months.

“It was a problem for every dual-listed course, it wasn’t just isolated to one department,” Sirianni said. “So this semester we just turned it off for all dual-listed courses campus-wide.”

According to Sirianni, leaving the waitlist ability turned on would leave students with conflicting emails, causing confusion. The feature will remain off until Jenzabar provides the university with an update or fix to the issue.

Emily Yurchison, a junior multimedia major, is one of the students on Fallon’s waitlist.

“I went to sign up for [the class] and it was full – I didn’t have the option to waitlist,” Yurchison said. “It didn’t give me that little box you have to check, so I emailed Helen personally.”

Yurchison and Fallon have been emailing back and forth regarding the class, sans the help PointWeb.

“I don’t even know where exactly I stand on that,” Yurchison said. “I’m not doing anything through PointWeb as far as that goes.”

Yurchison has experience being waitlisted for other classes and noted that it was a simpler process.

“You just click the waitlist button and that’s it,” Yurchison said. “As far as I know, I’m still waitlisted on all of them.”

Fallon has two problems: trying to keep an accurate waitlist while still tending to many of her duties on campus and figuring out travel plans with an ambiguous number of students.

According to Fallon, before the spring semester even begins, plane tickets have to be purchased, making the lack of a proper waitlist difficult when working with specific funds and travel plans.

“We ended up booking another group of tickets on an alternate flight, just in case that we need them,” Fallon said.

Fallon doesn’t want to leave behind any student who wants to take the course and go on the trip. Going out of the country, according to Fallon, is something that can be life-changing for a student.

“I’m trying really hard to be fair to students, and I just want the technology to work for us,” Fallon said.

As of Dec. 4, Fallon has already moved one student from the waitlist to the class, and plans on being able to do so for more students in the following week.