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Faulty site prevents senior sign-ups

Justin Tardiff | Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Seniors who went to the senior class Web site to sign up for Senior Week activities at 9 a.m. Tuesday were promptly met with frustration when they could not login or register for listed events, including a Chicago Cubs game, Cedar Point trip and formal dance.Senior class president Darrell Scott said he began receiving phone calls from friends around 9:15 a.m. indicating they were unable to purchase tickets.”I called to the office immediately and organized a conference call with other members of Senior Class Council,” Scott said. “After discovering that the system crash was more than likely the result of the University server unable to handle the high demand all at once, we decided to send out an e-mail with a sincere apology to the class for the time-waster and explained that we will have to postpone the ticketing until ND Marketplace resolves the server situation.”As of Tuesday afternoon, Office of Information Technology (OIT) employees said they were investigating what exactly caused the server problem.Scott said several approaches were being considered to remedy the situation.”We have three different contingency plans now that are being vetted by OIT and the Senior Class Council for their feasibility,” Scott said. “The final plan will be announced via email in the next two days, in which we will ensure that seniors are accommodated as much as possible.”This year’s registration process differed from that of past years, Scott said, due to both the Senior Class Council’s idea to innovate the system and changes made by the University.”We decided back in February that a computer ticket sign up system would be the most efficient and fair way for the class to order tickets, compared to the old-fashioned way of waiting in a line for hours,” Scott said. “Moreover, the University Business Operations Division created a new ND revenue-raising organization called ND Marketplace this past autumn and a rule that any student group that seeks to do e-commerce must use the ND-created professional service.”The system created frustration in that all seniors were given the same start time and it was likely that the system couldn’t handle all students at once.”I thought it was kind of strange that they just gave us all a starting time of 9:00,” senior Stevie Didier said. “It seemed clearly obvious that the server would crash and they would have problems with that.”Many seniors spent a good deal of time trying to register for activities before giving up.”I spent probably 30 minutes trying to do it,” Didier said. Seniors received an e-mail announcing that the system was not working properly.”I didn’t try to do it until later, so I had checked the e-mail first that said that it crashed,” senior Kathy Koranda said. “They just said they’ll let us know.”Word of system problems spread around the senior class quickly, causing some seniors to not even attempt to sign up for senior week activities.”I didn’t try to register because I heard that my friends were unable to,” senior Marianne Magjuka said. Despite the difficulties with the system, Scott remained optimistic.”Nonetheless, a computer glitch certainly will not affect the excitement of my classmates and the scheduling of Senior Week,” Scott said. “We will stay the course on the plan for the 2005 Senior Week events.”

Kate Antonacci contributed to this report.

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