By: Ivan Jules S. Capin

Long queues. Waiting lines. Frustration. Boredom.

These are inevitable sights for students, parents, faculty, and staff during the dreaded enrollment periods. Ateneo de Davao University is no stranger to such sights as they appear twice during the first and second semesters and once more in the summer semester.

However, the enrollment for this school year’s first semester seems different from the rest. Unorganized queues of students plagued the 6th Floor of the Community Center of the First Companions, where the university’s division offices are now located.

Some were there to correct errors in their registrations, some to attend their requirements for shifting to another course, and some to have their previous subjects credited. Doing such was less of a hassle and a problem when the division offices were still located in various rooms around the university.

Obviously, it seems that the school administration and SAMAHAN was prepared to handle old problems but not new ones, despite the helpful and appreciated mechanisms and processes prepared by the university in handling payments and SAMAHAN’s effort in establish a help desk for Ateneo de Davao’s students.

The problem was that the assumption of both was that this year’s enrollment would be the same as any other enrollment.

Unfortunately and on the contrary, it was not.

With all the suddenness and unexpectedness produced by the sheer number of students going to the division offices, a short term solution had to be done. Although it was logical allowing limited number of students in batches to enter the division offices, it was no long term solution in all means, moreso for future enrollments

And so, what can be done then in the next enrollments to avoid such?

Informing students of congestion before they head towards the division offices, similar to traffic bulletins found in highways leading to urban centers; coordinating with SAMAHAN for the deployment of the SAMAHAN Task Force to assist in organizing queues; and orienting the school’s security guards in properly maintaining order in these queues can all be considered and implemented.

The advent of new technologies such as online databases, information systems, and the like have shortened the otherwise mythical waiting times and legendary queues during enrollment periods.

Regardless, the myth and legend they surround themselves in cannot be ignored. But surely, they can be mitigated.

Photo courtesy of Jason Geralde