The depressed Swedish detectives over at Nuts & Boalts are claiming to have exposed a scandal of sorts regarding Telebears (the computerized, appointment-based system for signing up for classes), namely that Telebears appointments are not determined randomly but instead are ordered based on student ID numbers.
The reason this is angrifying people is the fact that Cal alumni (and apparently people who applied to Cal as undergraduates and either didn't get in or didn't enroll) retain their original SID numbers when they enroll at Boalt. I remember being surprised when this happened to me -- I was not only given my original SID number, but I was also given the opportunity to reactivate my dopey undergraduate email address ("fergus13," named after the dog from "Citizen Dog," in case you were wondering). Because SID numbers are assigned sequentially and not re-used, the upshot of this is that Boalt students with a previous connection to Berkeley have much lower SID numbers than Boalties who attended less cool colleges, and so the latter group is stuck with later appointment times and fewer options for classes. Given the large number of Cal alumns who seek a second degree at Boalt, this is a non-trivial disadvantage for people new to the university.
Whether this is actually true remains to be seen, of course. But if it is true, it's a terrible way to assign appointments, made all the worse by the fact that the official line from the law school is that appointments are assigned randomly. I can see using this approach for undergraduate Telebears, since undergrads are all in more or less the same boat when it comes to their SIDs (though this would marginally incentivize enrolling early). It would even make sense if all Boalt students got brand new SIDs. But the current system (if, indeed, the current system is as described by N&B) is just no good.