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BearTouch answers 5,901 calls

April 24, 1997

By Jennifer Bjorgaard

Lariat Reporter

The addition of phone registration has been long awaited by University students, but many have experienced some problems.

The BearTouch Phone registration system uses the same system as Texas A&M and the University of Nebraska. The system currently uses 24 phone lines that are available to eligible students from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week and also from 8 a.m. on Saturday to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

From the time that BearTouch started summer and fall registration on March 24 until April 21, the telephone system received 5,901 calls.

'It [BearTouch] registered me for a class that I didn't type in and then it wouldn't let me drop it. I had to call the registrar's office and they erased it. After that I was able to register on the phone,' said Amy Mathis, a Memphis, Tenn., junior.

Some students have had problems using the system because their computer records with the University were incorrect.

'When I tried to register by phone the system would not let me because it told me I was graduating. I had to call the register and tell her that I was not graduating, then I was able to registrar,' Amy Lichte, a Topeka, Kan., junior said.

Some students prefer to register in person instead of over the phone.

'I usually end up making a mistake so I prefer to register in person,' Derek Staner, a Sugarland junior, said.

Other students have not had any problems using BearTouch and find it much easier to call from their residence.

The average length of a BearTouch call is 2.55 minutes. The busiest times for BearTouch are from 8-9 a.m. and then in the afternoon from 1-2 p.m.

'It was much better than waiting in a line to register, and I thought that the instructions were very understandable,' Tim Allums, a Wiggins, Miss., senior, said.

Students that are eligible to register by phone must have completed at least 11 hours. Freshman are required to be advised and some other majors also require advisement in order to register by phone.

Mike Lamar, an analyst/programmer for the Center for Computing and Information Systems, said that there are a few plans in the future to improve BearTouch.

Currently students can use the system for billing inquiries and also for semester grade reporting. In the future more lines may be installed for the system and it could also be made to handle financial aid questions and possibly admissions.

'It [BearTouch] has made it easier for students to register and much more convenient, but it is still not a perfect system,' said Lamar.

The Office of the Registrar declined to comment on this issue.

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