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MSU Registrar website removes class location and instructor as public information

June 8, 2024
A Michigan State University sign on Beal Street on Aug. 23, 2019.
A Michigan State University sign on Beal Street on Aug. 23, 2019.

Up until recently, the class search function of Michigan State University's Office of the Registrar website made all class information accessible to the public. This information included the date, time, location and instructor. However, as of February 2024, class location and instructor are no longer public information.

The decision was, in part, influenced by the felt need for security on campus, as well as other institutions part of the Association of American Universities, or AAU, which contains a large number of public and private universities. 

"It's really based on the institute's culture and decisions," MSU University Registrar Steve Shablin said. "More and more institutions are restricting certain information."

Shablin listed several other universities also participating in this trend of placing information behind a login wall. The information can still be accessed by logging in with an MSU email, he said.

Communications junior Cecilia Dockins sees this as an inconvenience.

"It will be minorly inconvenient," Dockins said. "Anyone signing up for MSU classes has ever figured out you have to sign into a million things, and then you close a tab and reopen it. It's just very annoying."

Dockins said that while the student body would adjust, the change may initially cause some frustration. This annoyance and frustration may be the price student on campus have to pay to feel safe, she said.

Human biology junior Ryan Cahalan said the change adds to campus security. 

"(It's) just the fact that now, even if someone wanted to figure out where a certain classroom was or locate a certain teacher, they don't have access to that," Cahalan said. "If any random person could just find that out, that would make me feel a little unsafe."

Both students said despite any inconvenience it may cause them, any increase in security can be appreciated. Similarly, Shablin said he found this to be important, and after receiving some requests from faculty, the decision to make the information private seemed easy.

"The institution is listening, and we're willing to make changes to assist our students, faculty and staff (by) listening and hearing their concerns and developing ways on how we can accommodate those," Shablin said.

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