There are two days in the year when students are actually excited to log into their Campus Login: regular semester registration day (which happens at the end of May) and summer semester registration day (which is at the end of February). On these days students willing rise early so that when registration opens at 8:00 AM, they can sign up for the courses they need to graduate, and also sign up for those exclusive electives that are always full.
Seriously, though, students need to get into certain classes at certain times so their course plan stays on track. One missed course can be a catastrophe, causing unplanned delays in a student’s academic timeline. In extreme cases, the difference between four years and five years to complete a degree lies solely in the hands of the registrar’s office (more on that to come).
Seemingly oblivious to this fact, the administration at UPEI decided that the opening day of summer registration would be the perfect time to roll out the new (2005-era?) MyUPEI intranet. Great idea, right? After all, one would assume that the administration took the time to make sure students had adequate time to adapt and learn about the system. However, assuming makes an ass out of you, the UPEI administration, and the students. UPEI held just one, hour-long information session, in the middle of a regular day of classes, just one day before the rollout of MyUPEI.
How are students supposed to learn about a new registration system when they are attending classes, many of which had midterm exams that were carried over due to snowstorms?
Therefore, as can be attested by The Cadre, few students attended the information session and even fewer got past the bribe of cookies and into the computer demos. A little sympathy for the administration is, however, in order. They had to deal with the week of snowstorms as well, and maybe, just maybe, they were planning on offering more than one information session. What is astonishing is that this is not the only mistake that the administration made.
Logging onto MyUPEI was easy enough. Even finding the course list wasn’t that hard. The real problem occurred as we tried to register ourselves for our chosen courses. We both received a message telling us to consult with our EAP Coordinator about our course selections. Neither of us have ever been EAP students. We were added to the system incorrectly, as were others. This demonstrates the lack of regard that the administration had for the second busiest day of online registration.
Why would they not make sure that students were added to the system correctly? The registrar’s office was full of people experiencing the same problem – there were as many people in the office as there are when tuition is due. Multiple emails sent from us to the registrar’s office went without a response.
The software itself is admittedly a good idea, though with horrible implementation. Was the Campus Login really not good enough? We have never had any issues with it, and I think we would be hard-pressed to find someone who has. It has (I mean, had) everything we needed – a progress report, an actual mock-up of a transcript, course registration, an easy-to-read timetable, and other functions – in addition to being something that made voting in elections and surveys easy, if not necessary.
It will be interesting to see the voter turnout in the coming election now that the Campus Login has been made essentially irrelevant. Oh, wait, it hasn’t. Instead of shutting down one simple system, now we have an additional system to wrestle with.
If the university was a private corporation, someone would be in serious trouble for causing a service delay for upwards of almost 4,500 customers. There would be apologies issued and customers compensated if they did not get into their required class. Of course, this is not the case. Those responsible for MyUPEI are patting themselves on the back for making their own lives easier. As usual, this is at the expense of the students.
By: Zach Geldert & Alex MacBain