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Technology issues plague university, spark solutions

Tyler Hoffman

Issue date: 9/17/10 Section: News
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Throughout the first weeks of September, multiple complications with Case Western Reserve Univserity technology influenced student life on a grand scale.

On the evening of Sept. 7, students were alerted that voting for the freshman Undergraduate Student Government (USG) representatives and for the Student Executive Council (SEC) referendum would officially start at 8 a.m. on Sept. 8. However, just one hour after this announcement, USG vice president of information technology Kelly Maloney released an email advising students to wait until the official opening of voting on Sept. 8. She cited that CollegiateLink, the web service hosting the elections, was experiencing difficulties with user login.

Unfortunately, this warning was a prelude to a fine variety of technological issue. One hour after the official launch of voting, Maloney issued an email describing a CollegiateLink error that prevented voting on the referendum. Once online ballot was repaired, another announcement appeared in student inboxes which encouraged individuals that had previously voted to resubmit their votes. Over the course of the day, two more alerts illuminated further issues: the absence of a candidate from the ballot and the ability to for only for the first candidate in an election.

Maloney met each new problem with a quick response. Regardless, many students were forced to resubmit their votes for both the representatives and the referendum. "There were two main issues that occurred with the elections on CollegiateLink," Maloney explained. "The main issue was a login issue with the CollegiateLink servers...I believe the issue [was] due to a problem with the way CollegiateLink interfaces with Case single sign-on, and the problem got worse with the heavy server load generated by [voter interest]."

Throughout the voting period, multiple concerns were expressed regarding the validity of the vote, especially the SEC referendum, a key issue on campus. In April of 2010, the SEC voted to reduce the allocations of the Interfraternity Congress (IFC) and Panhellenic Council (PHC), citing that the two groups had a rollover of $83,950.67 and were unable to produce detailed financial information.
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