Over winter break, I realized that the University doesn’t always have valid justifications for its actions. Don’t get me wrong, I love this school. But I don’t understand how it can sometimes be so illogical. And as I sat at my computer, it was becoming apparent to me that this was one of those times, and that the Wolverine Access defaults are all wrong.
All I was trying to do was check my grades. I’m an honors student, and I might be just the slightest bit obsessed. But there are other people out there like me — I know it. Yes, I click the “View My Grades” button about 20 times a day, but you know you do, too.
After frantically clicking the button and awaiting posted grades with baited breath, I noticed that when the page loads, I had no grades. Then I realized that Wolverine Access was considerately displaying my grades for Winter 2010, even though I had obviously yet to set foot in a single Winter 2010 class. But there Wolverine Access was, reminding me that I had no grades for next semester.
As amusing as it may be, it’s actually really freaking annoying. Every time I checked my grades, I had to change the semester. There was an unnecessary scroll-down menu and button click standing between my grades and me. And I did not appreciate it. Honestly, who thought it was a good idea to have the default be such a pain in the you-know-what? Is there some IT guy sitting in a room by himself laughing at all the students? Probably not, I have to remind myself. The Wolverine Access man is not out to get me.
But I thought to myself, “Calm down. If you start freaking out before you even find your grades your parents might take back all of your Christmas presents.” But maybe there is a reason for these incipient, frustrating settings. Logically, all of the defaults on a website should be the same.
Hypothetically, the textbook list feature should display textbooks for my Winter 2010 schedule. After all, they’re both under the Enrollment tab. And a textbook list for the coming semester would actually be useful since I like to order my books in advance. Alas, Wolverine Access showed the book list for the semester that just finished. Shockingly, I wasn’t going to order books for classes I’ve already taken. If I didn’t buy them while I was taking the class, I’m sure as hell not going to read them after it is over.
Luckily, I’m not quite as distraught checking my textbook list as when I’m checking my grades. But by this point my stubborn nature had kicked in, and it’s really just about the principle of the matter. Who sets these defaults? Whoever it is should seriously reconsider their career choice. Default settings are supposed to make your life easier. And at the moment, they are set to the option you would never choose. No one needs to view last semester’s textbook list and next semester’s grades.
In the long run, these issues aren’t that important. I will get a good education and I love being at the University. But they certainly don’t advertise the University’s lack of logic in the college brochures. On tours they don’t point out that checking your grades is going to be more irritating than taking the classes themselves. Or that the brightest minds at the University can’t devise an online textbook list that makes sense. And that’s probably because with all the things that the University has to handle, these little things fall through the cracks. But quite frankly I’m tired of clicking the stupid Change Semester button.
Erika Mayer is a senior editorial page editor.