Wolverine Access has long been the subject
of much-deserved criticism. In compliance with a contract between
the University and the software company PeopleSoft, the University
has updated Wolverine Access so that the company’s software
can operate properly and not be restricted by outdated University
software.

Laura Wong

Linda Green, communications coordinator for Michigan
Administrative Information Services, claims that the changes to
Wolverine Access will make it easier for students to change their
addresses, access transcripts and handle other student business.
However, students were also able to do these things before the
recent changes and seemed to have a far easier time doing so.

The upgrades to the software appear to be downgrades for
students. The system changes have caused students a great
inconvenience and frustration during this year’s registration
season. When logging on to Wolverine Access students first found
that navigating the system had become increasingly difficult.
Frames were eliminated that were originally quick links to navigate
the site. This increases the amount of time spent maneuvering
through the pages.

The amount of time spent registering has become more of a
concern for students because the University is offering fewer
courses this year and students cannot waitlist for multiple
sections. The longer it takes a student to register, the harder it
becomes to get into highly sought-after classes, especially when
there are thousands of students registering on a particular
day.

The backpack feature, which was incorporated to alleviate
students’ registration frustrations, has become more
difficult to use as a result of the changes. Some students have
actually found it easier to register for their classes individually
rather than use the once-popular backpack function.

The class search is the worst feature of the new system. The
search field is now limited, making it impossible for students to
view all of the classes in a particular department at once. This
makes it difficult for students to browse for classes and forces
them to use a course guide simultaneously. Unfortunately, the
administration ignored student requests to integrate a course guide
and student comments regarding each course when upgrading the
system.

There was, however, one commendable improvement. The operating
hours have been extended throughout the week so that students can
make changes to their student accounts as late as 4 a.m. instead of
the previous 2 a.m. shut-down time on the previous system.

In order to overcome the present Wolverine Access concerns, the
University must reconsider the conditions of the contract with
PeopleSoft before its renewal. Upgrades should bring marked
improvement.

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