Apprehensions rise as registration approaches

By Kendra Kusick

As fall registration dates approach, many people are apprehensive about Peoplesoft’s ability to handle the large volume. Initially, the debut of Peoplesoft sparked unfavourable reactions amongst staff and students, a phenomenon to which the Facebook group “Peoplesoft Ruined My Life” owed its 509-strong following.

Registration will begin Mon., Jun. 25 at 8 a.m. In preparation, the office of the Registrar formed a partnership with the University of Calgary Information Technologies and tripled the amount of support staff on call. They also hope to maintain communication with the student body through the website, which will post problems and their solutions as they arise.

“I hate every second of using Peoplesoft,” said third-year geography student Allison Cully. “It seems like a very generic program that does an adequate job at best.”

Peoplesoft will be expericiencing a full volume of students for the first time since its inception in February, 2007 as the university’s new registration interface. Project Emerge director Pam Decker said she’s aware that the student body will require some time to adjust.

“The biggest challenge is that the continuing students are familiar with [using] Infonet in the past,” said Decker. “It’s not that it’s a problem, but we fully expect the change to be unsettling.”

Since the changeover, attitudes have mellowed towards the interface. Third-year business major Kevin Westigaard agreed with Decker’s prediction about the program’s popularity.

“At first I hated it because I had no idea how it worked,” said Westigaard. “Once I figured it out, it was pretty good–I have no real compaints.”

Assistant vice-president enrolment & registrars Kathleen Massey acknowledged there may be some unforseen difficulties, but remained confident the largest hurdle will be user confusion.

“We’re focusing all our energies on being responsive to student problems as they arise,” she said. “We’ve been very methodical [and] we’ve got a plan in place.”

Despite concerns, former Project Emerge director Grant Watterworth shared Massey’s hopeful expec- tations of the system’s performance. Similar anxieties and frustrations were voiced before the original launch of Peoplesoft, but Watterworth said the system’s launch went smoother than expected.

“Our experience to date has been very, very good,” he said. “The service has been running virtually without interruption.”

Watterworth said he expected the interface to handle any problems that arise.

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