Computer failure forces students to register in person

by Mark Baumgarten

Many students hoping to register for fall courses Monday on the Web were greeted with a message reading “server down.”
On the first day of its operation, the University’s new Web-registration system, Student Server, was inaccessible to many students due to an overload in the Office of the Registrar’s computer system.
“We thought that two processors could handle the load, but they didn’t work to our satisfaction,” said Sue Van Voorhis, administrative director in the Office of the Registrar. “We brought in a third processor, and that balanced out the load.”
As a result of this oversight, many students were forced to register in person at 200 Fraser Hall.
Some students said they waited up to 90 minutes in Fraser before they were able to register. But officials in the office assert that everything went smoothly.
“Registration at Fraser was working fine today,” Van Voorhis said. “I think everyone who came into the office today had a pleasant experience.”
Despite the difficulties, more students registered through the Web than did at the Office of the Registrar. Of about 1,100 students who registered Monday, more than 600 did so through the Web, and almost 500 registered at Fraser.
But compared to the first day of last year’s fall registration, when 750 students registered through the Web, and 300 went to Fraser, the new system fell short of expectations.
“Whenever you bring up a new system there are going to be bugs,” Van Voorhis said. “But it’s hard to predict what is going to happen when you are dealing with a University system this large.”
To prepare for increased in-person registration, the registrar brought in more staff and installed seven more computers.
As of 3:30 p.m. Monday, Web registration was operating sufficiently.