“I didn’t go to any of my classes,” commented
Engineering senior Joe Kuechenmeister about the first day of class
this semester. Due to the shutdown of Wolverine Access,
Kuechenmeister, along with other students, took an extra unexpected
day of vacation. “I didn’t think I needed to print them
up,” he said, “so I didn’t know the
rooms.”

Kate Green
David Tuman/Daily
Students prepare for the temporary shut-down of Wolverine Access as upcoming changes are implemented.

This recent malfunction of the University’s registration
website has lowered morale about the now four-year-old system.
“You can’t get into it when you need it,” said
LSA sophomore Maricela Marcinez, who had to make a trip to the
Office of the Registrar last semester to register for a class.
“It was a pain because I couldn’t log on,” she
said.

Wolverine Access will have another, scheduled shutdown from 5
p.m. on February 5 until 7 a.m. on February 10 to change to a new
version of the website. During the outage, campus offices are
prepared to help with tasks that are usually completed online, but
students are advised to take care of important business beforehand.
Michigan Administration Information Services, which is in charge of
Wolverine Access, hopes to alleviate some student concerns with
this upgrade.

“We manage the University’s enterprise-wide
administrative databases,” explained MAIS Communication
Coordinator Linda Hancock Green. MAIS includes M-Pathways, the
central system organizing information on everything from payroll to
admissions. “It’s a lot more than just Wolverine
Access, it is just one way of delivering information off of the
student administration database.”

Before Wolverine Access existed, students had registered via
telephone with the CRISP program. Over the years, the website has
made the registration process easier by adding a backpacking option
and providing other important student information, like financial
aid reports and transcripts.

“I like that you can always look at your information, so
you can warn your parents ahead of time how much you’re going
to owe and check your grades,” LSA freshman Ashley Thomas
said. Despite the website shutdowns, Thomas appreciates its
convenience.

The new system, to be implemented Feb. 10, will add greater
convenience to students with added options including:

– Enhancement to the financial aid pages allowing students to
accept or decline aid and complete the Federal Perkins Promissory
Note online a crucial element for attaining state funds.

– Paycheck information for student employees and financial aid
disbursements.

– Backpack and registration options on two separate pages with a
tab to move between them.

– A new graphic design.

Additionally, Wolverine Access will become a single sign-on
service with the University’s online directory,
mail.umich.edu and CourseTools Next Generation. “When you
sign into your mail, you are also authenticating to Wolverine
Access and vice versa,” Green explained. “That’s
a good thing, but it could also be a very unsafe thing.”
Leaving Wolverine Access open can allow other students to take
advantage of personal information, class registration and email.
Thus, it is important for students to remember to logout

The logout process for the new system requires four steps: one
to end the session, one to log out of the Wolverine Access gateway,
another to confirm and finally a security-alert box to finalize the
logout. If a student does not complete all steps, they will remain
logged into the system.

Engineering freshman Andy Lin, who often uses computing sites,
said he is not concerned that his identity could be stolen by
leaving the system open. “Most people log off (the computer)
before they leave,” he said.

“It seems like the school is too psycho about
login,” commented LSA sophomore Scott Balentine.
“It’s kind of annoying.” Since he uses mail and
Wolverine Access at the same time Balentine said, “It will
probably be easier (to be logged into both).”

Other students complain about the operating hours of Wolverine
Access, since it is not a 24-hour site. “Nobody goes to bed
here,” said Marcinez. “It should definitely be 24
hours.”

The weekday hours are 7 a.m. to 4 a.m. during the month of
January, but will return to 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. next month.

Shutting down the site “is important for record keeping
and reports,” Green said. “We take a snapshot every
night, and if they were doing that on a real-time database, it
might slow it down considerably. Building that snapshot takes a
couple of hours.”

The reasoning behind the February upgrade is new software
created by PeopleSoft that allowed the University to abandon the
expensive custom-built system now in use. “There are a lot of
underlying architectural changes that will be transparent to the
students,” Green said. “In fact, we made the decision
to keep the student’s experience as similar as we
could.”

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