First day filled with headaches

QCARD back-ups, line-ups and floods make for a typical first day back to school

Students file in and out of Richardson Hall in hopes of solving their scheduling and scholarship woes.
Students file in and out of Richardson Hall in hopes of solving their scheduling and scholarship woes.
A perplexed student looks over his book store receipt yesterday.
A perplexed student looks over his book store receipt yesterday.

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and it’s only 12 degrees outside. You are up, out of bed and on the street and its only eight-thirty in the morning. This can only mean one thing: it’s the first day of school.

Getting themselves up is only the beginning of first-day woes for many students. Many are unsure of their schedules, still trying to add or drop courses, and first-years are still trying to find their way around campus.

And, of course, many students showed up in nice, new clothes...

UNIVERSITY AVE. — 10:30 a.m.

Johanna McManus, Nurs ’06, and friends Melinda Marrs, also Nurs ’06 and Sheila Gordon, PhysEd ’06, were catching some sun on a bench outside Stauffer.

All three agreed that people spend a little extra time in front of the mirror on the first day.

“I feel like I’m in grade nine,” said Gordon.

“I was watching people on the street and you see all the new outfits,” Marrs added.

McManus, in a hot pink t-shirt and sunglasses, mentioned that she straightened her hair for her eight-thirty class.

“I got up and showered and straightened my hair,” she said. “I should be at Western.”

The morning was not going as smoothly for Rob Fit, ArtSci ’06, who was sitting outside the JDUC cafeteria with Robyn Schleihauf, Natalie Grynpas and Kevin McIntosh, all ArtSci ’06.

“I had to drop the minor I was supposed to start this year because it conflicted with everything,” he lamented. “The film department wants to rip my head off.”

Schliehauf didn’t know where or when her first class was, because QCARD was down yesterday morning.

“I finally had to call work, get the head chef to get my day-planner from the staff room, figure out the [course and building] abbreviations and tell me where I was going,” she said.

She was still late for class.

Grynpas’s first class was cancelled without an explanation.

“It was at 8:30!” she said.

McIntosh had a wet start to his first day of school as a result of Thursday’s rainstorm.

“We’re still dealing with a flood in our basement,” he said.


Deirdre Vickers, Sci ’07, was standing in a line that snaked out the door of the Registrar’s office.

“I lost my student card and I can’t get my timetable to come up on QCARD,” Vickers said. “It’s just a little stressful.”

Vickers is still deciding what courses to take.

“I can’t buy my books until I know what discipline I’m in,” she said.

Although Vickers confessed she was wearing a new bra, she said it was obvious others were dressing up for the first day.

“You can tell who the Frosh are cause they’re a little more dressed up than usual,” Vickers said.

Technical woes were also plaguing Melanie Bedore, in her first year of a Masters degree in political administration.

“I’m having troubles with QLINK,” she said. “I was here before and then the library and now I’m back again.”

The line for the student awards office had spilled out of the building and onto the steps outside. Julia Tubbs, ArtSci ’07 was waiting with scholarship form in hand.

“I have to come down here and have the registrar fax it.”

Until that is done, Tubbs will not receive her money. VIC HALL — 11:15 a.m.

Jenny Yiu, ArtSci ’08, was weighed down with two bags of books from the campus bookstore.

“All the books are very heavy so I can’t do it all in one trip,” she said as she lowered her burden to the sidewalk.

She said everyone on her floor had been trying to figure out beforehand where all their classes were located.

“We’ve been walking around trying to find everything,” Yiu said. “We’re anxious to do our research before so we know where to go.”

Melanie Wong, Sci ’08, cradles a thick manual in one arm and carries a campus bookstore bag in the other.

“I bought binders and a huge manual—I didn’t realize!” Wong said, referring to the physics manual’s hefty size. “I’m a little scared.”

Wong said the first day of university is different from the first day of high school.

“It feels different,” she said. “You’re not living at home anymore and you can walk to all your classes.”

Wong wasn’t wearing anything new yesterday but Jeff Pellerin, ArtSci ’07 noticed the outfits on the streets and in the halls.

“There’s lots of skirts,” he said. “And guys are wearing buttoned-up shirts for some reason.”

Pellerin also lamented QCARD’s unavailability.

“QCARD was down all morning,” he said. “The two guys I live with, through a process of elimination, figured out where to go.”


Sixteen cashes were set up in the basement of the bookstore to handle the constant stream of customers. Besides the additional cashes and the forty extra personnel that were hired, General Manager Chris Tabor said the new exit on the north side of the building helped to move everyone through speedily.

“Before the new exit we were putting though 700 people per hour,” he said. “Now we are up to 1000 per hour.”

The extra cashes will stay in service all this week.

As students filtered downstairs, staff ushered them to available cashes, preventing back-ups at the first three counters.

“Nine hundred thousand pounds of books came in July,” Tabor said. “We have 95 per cent of our [professor requested materials] in.”

Last year that percentage was much less, he said.

“They were much quicker with their lists this year.”

Outside the bookstore, Amy Fitchett, Music ’08, bemoaned the amount of money dropped in the bookstore.

“I just spent $564 worth of books,” she said.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.