For most college students, class registration is one of the most stressful times of the semester. Students usually start looking at classes weeks before their actual registration date and time. Dealing with the competition of other students vying for the best time and day slots to fit their schedules, signing up for classes can be a pretty vicious task.
When the first appointment for registration came around on November 8th at 9 a.m., some students were greeted with a very unfortunate, temporary problem.
Though the USF site is normally accessible for all students during any time of day, students who were scheduled to register for classes on the morning of November 8th had trouble either accessing the site due to a busy server, logging on to their account, or confirming the course registration numbers for their classes.
Angela Yi, the assistant Registrar at the Office of the Registrar, directs the problem to two separate issues. While ITS dealt with the problems surrounding the failed server, the Registrar office worked to restore Banner. Banner is the system used to organize the registration portal. It was first implemented in 2008, but problems of this nature had never occurred in the past.
Yi said that the problem was recognized before 9 a.m., and ITS and the Registrar office worked to fix the issue. “Around 8:50 a.m., all of us were having trouble logging onto the system through USFConnect,” she says. Though the entire issue lasted about an hour, many students experienced the repercussions of the technical mishap.
Kelsy Natividad, a sophomore graphic design major, is one of the students who experienced problems on the opening day of registration. As a University scholar, Natividad has first priority in registering for classes. As soon as she logged onto the site at 9 a.m. on November 8th, the site’s server was too busy to allow Natividad to sign up for classes.
“I was sitting at my seat for half an hour, clicking refresh over and over because I wanted to get it done.” Although Natividad was able to access the site when she signed on a few hours later, she found her privileges useless. “It was frustrating. I thought, ‘What’s the point of having priority if I’m not going to able to register on time?’” Although the server was fixed, Natividad claims the site was running slower than normal. “I actually completed my registration on the 11th, but I ended up getting every class I wanted.”
While ITS and the Registrar’s office worked to fix the technical problems, Yi reports that the Registrar office did all they could to mend the problem in the meantime. “We contacted all the Deans’ offices and key faculty members, and told them we were having issues with the registration portal.” Because the Arts and Sciences School has the most students, the Office of the Registrar had workers stationed at the Arts and Sciences Dean’s office to alleviate the registration problems. Yi affirms that both the ITS and Registrar office had “all hands on deck” to make sure the server, USFConnect site, and the registration portal were up and running for all students.
Other students reported having problems with the site during that morning. Brittany Dorn, a sophomore teaching and history major, accessed the USF site at 9 a.m. on Nov. 8, but could not log on because there was a server error. Around 9:40, she was able to sign on. Although all her classes should have been available, she could not sign up for the classes for her teaching major. “I felt frustrated. That morning, I wasn’t finished registering but I had to go to class and I couldn’t bring my laptop to use in class.” Regardless of the struggles Dorn had with enlisting, she was not too upset with the technical issues. “I knew they’d fix it, and I knew everyone else was having the same problems as me.” Dorn was able to complete registration around 10 a.m..
A senior psychology major, Carly Holmann was also scheduled to register on Nov. 8 at 9 a.m.. According to Holmann, she encountered problems with simply going on the USF page. After refreshing the page a few times, the USF site loaded and she signed into her account, but had problems when putting in the course registration numbers. “I’m a senior, so I found it frustrating since I have a few classes left to take to finish up my major. I’m graduating in May. I was pretty nervous that I wouldn’t get the classes I wanted but I realized it was a campus-wide problem.” An hour after her scheduled registration time, Holmann was able to sign in and register.
The Registrar office received complaints over the phone, through e-mail and in person. Yi states, “We apologize to anyone for the inconveniences [the issue] caused.” Around 9:45 a.m., the Registrar office and ITS had fixed all registration technicalities.
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