Campus was filled with many frustrated students recently, and all crosshairs were aimed at Campus Technology Services.
With the e-mail network and ANGEL down, students and faculty were faced with online class deadlines, regular class deadlines and the inability to do anything about it.
Many students watched their online work vanish before their very eyes when they submitted their various ANGEL assignments only to see an "ANGEL is down, sorry for the inconvenience" message staring them dead in the face. Laughing at them. Taunting them to do something about it. Many, many curse words ensued, none of which were suitable for a peaceful library environment.
Although these inflammatory words were directed at their various computers, they were undoubtedly meant to be directed at CTS. Outages of both ANGEL and Web mail have become increasingly frequent over the past few weeks, which means a lot of students are closer and closer to experiencing what a heart attack would feel like. However, it seems that all complaints are falling on deaf ears.
In 2006, CTS dropped the Squirrel Mail email client for the current system. Squirrel Mail was free, and despite being aging software, it seemed to work fine. Not only is the new system worse off, we are paying for a faulty product.
When people fondly remember "the golden years" of Squirrel Mail, it seems that we’ve regressed into a more primitive technological state. It’s safe to assume that next year, all computers will be taken away and replaced with slabs of stones and chisels, as one student grunts dictation to the other to furiously chisel out a paper before the library’s allotted hour of "slate" use is up.
Now, The Oswegonian understands that CTS is not to receive all the blame for all of the technological errors students are experiencing. An upgrade was launched Sept. 13, but the errors started rolling in soon after. Apparently, the software for SUN systems failed to meet the school’s standards. If a licensed company’s software doesn’t work, then CTS can only do so much to try and fix it within a reasonable amount of time. But should more research have been done about the product before the purchase?
What long-range plan does CTS have for the Oswego State network? The current system looks to be both inefficient and costly, and at the current rate, only looks to provide further problems in the future. Will we be forced to endure another year of patches and quick fixes? And if the problem is beyond CTS, does SUNY as a whole need to re-evaluate the software it promotes?
We here at The Oswegonian believe it’s time for CTS to step up to the plate and develop a long range plan that won’t leave Oswego State students with chisels in an information age.