Registration halted, system plagued by technical difficulties – The Columbia Chronicle

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Falling out of bed and tripping over their computers on Monday morning, students logged into their Columbia portals, ready to enroll for Spring 2023 classes, only to be greeted with “failure to open” pages; these issues persisted for other students logging in throughout the day.

Student registration opened for some at 7 a.m. and for others at noon, but due to technical issues with Columbia’s web server, many students were having trouble registering, experiencing late response and pages not loading – some students couldn’t register at all.

Monday evening, the school sent an email acknowledging the seriousness of the problems and informing students this registration will be suspended until further notice, and the college will send an update on Thursday outlining new registration times for all students.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, Information Technology released a written statement to the Chronicle via email.

“The IT team continues to work with the vendor to find a solution,” said Kathie Koch, associate vice president and chief information officer of the information technology department.

Lambrini Lukidis, associate vice president for strategic communications and external relations, said she didn’t know when the issue will be resolved.

“We contacted vendors, escalated it, and our internal team worked with a support team to actively resolve this issue as soon as possible,” Lukidis said. “They know this is a critical issue for us, given that it’s the first day of registration for the upcoming semester.”

Craig Sigele, academic director of the communications department, said he started receiving messages from students as early as 7:30 a.m. about being unable to go through the system.

“It’s the worst I’ve ever seen,” Sigele said. “Once in a while there will be a hiccup… but it has never been to my knowledge or experienced so badly.”

Sigele, who is also president of the United Staff of Columbia College, said it could be due to a lack of staff, including the chief. role in the Registrar’s office being filled by an acting appointment, currently Jim Gingras.

“The position of Chief Registrar is still open, [has been] Since May. They have an acting registrar, but he is now doing the work of two people,” Sigele said. “In the school’s effort to save money by not replacing people right away, they may be causing themselves an even greater loss.”

The Student Government Association issued a statement to the Chronicle at 4 p.m. Monday expressing their frustration with the situation and called on the college to “address systemic failures in the enrollment process.”

Tyler Harding, SGA student president and senior film and television major, said the registration system used this semester is new.

“The problem is that it keeps happening year after year at Columbia,” Harding said. “It happened in the past, then Columbia rolled out this new system and everything looked cleaner and nicer, then it happened again, so it doesn’t seem like they’re addressing the issue of the circulation.”

Elizabeth Barajas Vasquez, student representative on the board and a junior English student, said she thinks this could have a negative impact on Columbia’s retention.

“I think if [Columbia] is so vocal that retention is an issue on campus, they should find solutions to issues that affect retention, such as enrollment,” Barajas Vasquez said. “Most students come to a four-year college because they only want to spend four years here.”

Some students have seen this problem before, saying that the website often lags to some degree, but they noted that the technical difficulties have never been more severe than on Monday.

“Usually I expect it to be slow at first, but then it gets faster and faster as people sign up, you know, less and less around the server at the same time,” Maxwell Mootz said. , a film and television specialist. “But that didn’t seem to be happening [Monday] Morning.”

Ksymena Pawlowicz, a public relations major, compared yesterday’s experience to previous semesters.

“I’ve always had a problem signing up, but it’s never taken as long as it did today. It’s almost 5 p.m., so 10 a.m. since my registration window started, and I’m still not registered for my classes,” Pawlowicz said Monday. “I was afraid that all my classes would fill up.”

Pawlowicz plans to graduate in May, but worries about having to pay for another semester at Columbia, especially as an international student.

“The financial situation is difficult; the dollar is very expensive. So don’t get into these courses and wait another semester for these courses [is] kinda unacceptable to me,” Pawlowicz said.

Gabrielle Pelayo, a senior creative writing major, was late to class due to technical difficulties and found the experience continued to affect her while he is in class.

“It was really hard for me to pay attention or be in the right headspace for class because of the stress it was causing me,” Pelayo said.

In the college email, the school confirmed that it is “committed to ensuring that these students [who struggled to register] are able to complete their studies and graduate on time.

Last week, the college hosted RegFest in the student center to help students verify if they have holds on their account, check their allocated registration time and review the courses offered.

Pelayo said students have voiced similar complaints before.

“For many semesters students have been complaining that the registration servers are terrible. And the fact that they haven’t done anything to really fix it other than just changing the system, it just seems irresponsible to the part of Columbia,” she said.

Jorden Smith, a senior advertising major, said they would like a promise of the [school] committing to “provide new software for enrolling in courses, which has proven to work smoothly for other institutions.”

More updates to come.

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