Piedmont’s Paper Problems


Staff Writer

The question of the advancement of technology might seem to have an easy answer for many students and faculty members, but it still deserves debate. Is Piedmont’s paper system truly archaic or is our college simply trying to preserve a dying notion? I am inclined to think the former.

I transferred to Piedmont from the University of Georgia this summer, eagerly awaiting my new life at a smaller, more intimate college setting. Needless to say, I got what I wished for when I left Athens for the higher ground of Demorest.

Gone were the droves of students, the faceless faculty and the impersonal classes. I had effectively traded being a number for being a member of a small, close-knit college community. I have only been a Lion for a week and a half, but I already consider Piedmont my home.

Regardless of my new found love for Piedmont’s small school vibe, there is one area of the college that I think needs serious reworking. Piedmont’s paper system extends from registration and class drop/add to parking passes and scheduling. Each semester, needless tensions arise as students try to decide which classes they want to take and whether or not they want to remain in them all semester under the pressures of paper.

Personally– in this semester alone– I have visited my adviser and campus security twice, Dr. Nimmo’s office three times and the Registrar’s office four times. Each trip I held a hard copy of my schedule, a drop/add form or an application for a parking sticker.

To give the students of Piedmont some perspective, my paper trips around campus could have been resolved in a matter of minutes using the University of Georgia’s online student account system. Aptly named OASIS, this student mecca allows full access to financial information, registration, drop/add actions and records among many other functions. The ease of managing student life online seems like a heady notion, but the question still remains in my mind– is the University of Georgia’s OASIS truly a student’s dream realized?

Online student registration and class drop/add eliminates the pains of adviser approval and ambiguous course sections and period numbers, but would a paperless system at Piedmont College really provide rectification or would it just propagate the problem of student ambiguity that I fled from when I left the University of Georgia? Is Piedmont’s paper system a lost art or relic of a different time when colleges were intimate institutions of higher learning?

The romantic ideals of a paper system have charmed us in old movies and the novels we read, but I am confident that taking a step toward the technological revolution would be in Piedmont’s favor. If Piedmont College were to simply upgrade the registration system, the school would skyrocket to a new level of accreditation. One modern upgrade would put Piedmont on the map and attract new students for years to come.

I transferred to Piedmont College to find a sense of home and community in my pursuit of an education and I am excited to say that I succeeded. I am confident that making the change from paper to online registration alone would only enhance Piedmont College and provide the students with one more reason to look back on their time at the school with fondness.