The rise and fall of Schedule Snatcher has turned into a controversial issue on campus. In “RIP Schedule Snatcher” 1/12, a student expressed her dismay and dissatisfaction with the administration’s decision to shut down the online service. Before we storm the ASB and demand the protection of our local entrepreneurs, consider an economic argument for why the university had to shut the website down.
Although security of personal information and bandwidth problems may have had an influence on the decision, the real reason the university had to shut Schedule Snatcher down was unfair allocation of class spots. Schedule Snatcher was not completely free. There was an option presented on the site that allowed you to pay a membership fee. Members would be placed at the front of the line for the classes they requested.
Just as our admittance to the university was independent of our parent’s income, the university must maintain equality in scheduling, which is why you can’t pay a teacher to get into a class. BYU allocates class spots on a first-come-first-served basis (with priority given to upperclassmen, of course) in order to level the playing field as we pursue an education. As more people began using Schedule Snatcher, there was no advantage for using the service anyway, it just changed the method of allocation. BYU had no choice but to shut them down and implement their own system. It was only fair to those of us not willing to pay $100 to get into Brother Randy Bott’s class. Before you get offended about university decisions, take a step back and consider the implications of their choice.