BYU to release its own wait list registration system


The independent developer of an online program designed to help students secure dream class schedules has shut down as BYU prepares to roll out its own wait-listing service.

Founder of Schedule Snatcher, Brendon Beebe, a junior majoring in computer science, chose to shut down his online registration system because of a conflict with the BYU administration. A recent increase in these programs had produced unfair registration advantages, bogged down BYU’s server and introduced liability and privacy concerns with RouteY information; all of which indicate why Schedule Snatcher was targeted.

“We ask all students not to provide their personal information, such as their student ID and passwords, to a third party unless the university has determined that company or organization complies with records compliance laws,” Carri Jenkins, university spokeswoman, said in an email.

Jenkins said BYU will introduce its own wait list system for spring/summer registration in February. This will eliminate the need for systems like Schedule Snatcher and reduce burdens commonly associated with registration.

Michael Brown, director, IT communications, for the Office of Information Technology, told the Daily Universe in December, “the registration improvements are part of continual improvement to an already good system that will make the field a little more fair for everyone.” For example, it will close at least one loophole. It has been possible in the past for more upperclass students to reserve a spot in a course and then allow underclass members with later registration windows to take those seats as the more upperclass student drops the course.

Gary Ellingson, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, supported BYU doing away with systems like Schedule Snatcher. Ellingson said he believes class registration is just how it should be even though it can be difficult to stay up late or repeatedly check for course updates and availability.

“I think it’s a good thing they got rid of it because others jam up the system and it goes back to a first-come, first-serve basis,” Ellingson said. “By the time I heard about it, everyone had, so it was pretty much useless.”

Students who have found problems getting into certain classes said they said they feel systems such as Schedule Snatcher are a positive development. However, its waiting list system does not guarantee success.

Schedule Snatcher didn’t work for Steve Nelson, an exercise science major from Mapleton.

“It’s probably a good thing they ended it to make it fair for everyone else,” Nelson said.

Catherine Barrett, an accounting major from Mexico City, said she wished she had known about Schedule Snatcher after finding difficulty securing a seat in Professor Randy Bott’s Doctrine and Covenants class. Even though she is a junior, the class was full before her priority registration date and permission-to-add codes cannot be used for the course.

“I’m only taking one GE this semester and I couldn’t get into the one I wanted,” Barrett said. “It is even more frustrating because I’m a junior, and that’s supposed to be an advantage.”

This kind of situation was the reason Beebe developed the idea for Schedule Snatcher and introduced it to BYU last April. With more than 5,000 users, the site has had thousands of successful snatches.

Despite its success and Beebe’s attempts to avoid possible conflicts, BYU did not enjoy the potential complications that followed. Although Beebe understands the reasons behind BYU’s position, he believes they could have provided more notice about their desire to eliminate systems like his.

“I didn’t expect it at all,” Beebe said. “We had talked with them and several people inside BYU who were a little weary with the fact that we had the RouteY credentials of the students, but they were completely encrypted and we had taken precautions.”

Regardless of the outcome with BYU, Beebe plans to introduce Schedule Snatcher to other college campuses in the future to improve students’ frustrating registration routines.

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