Sage outage causes disturbance, but is ultimately harmless
Last Tuesday, Rebecca Brooks '13 attempted to register for classes for the spring 2013 semester at 2 p.m. However, she, along with many students on campus, was unable to so during her allotted time slot due to technical difficulties on the sage system.
According to John Unsworth, vice provost for Library and Technology Services?and Brandeis' chief information officer, the technical difficulties arose at about 11 a.m., approximately one hour after the first registration appointment.
"Nearly 30 percent more people were connecting to sage on Tuesday than in either of the previous two years ... [S]tudents who, in past years, had prepared for registration the day before registration opened were not doing that on Monday of this week, because of the hurricane, and that bumped up the load from course-shopping on Tuesday," wrote Unsworth in an email to the Justice.
In addition to the delays in course selection in advance caused by Hurricane Sandy, according to Unsworth, enrollment, and therefore the number of students attempting to log onto sage, increased.
"[W]e did have about 30 percent more enrollments, as well as more logins," said Unsworth, "so it appears we had both more students course-shopping and more students enrolling than in past years," said Unsworth.
"Because I am a senior, I need one more P.E. class to graduate, and the class was limited to 12 people," wrote Brooks in an email to the Justice. "I did manage to get into the class, but I have friends that were shut out of their first-choice class."
"I know that a lot of people were really annoyed and were concerned," said Sarah Weber '15 in an interview with the Justice. "No one knew what was happening, so it was confusing."
According to Unsworth, the Library and Technology Services worked to double the RAM available to the web server and increased login capacity by 50 percent after the problems first arose.
In addition, the web server had to be restarted in order to clear the queue due to the backlog of requests. All of these tasks were completed by the time sage was running properly at about 3 p.m.
According to Mark Hewitt, University registrar, there were no strange patterns in registration due to the technical difficulties.
Since the issues were resolved by 3 p.m. and did not continue into the second day of registration, an extension to registration is not planned, nor will registration will be redone.
"3255 undergraduates, and 927 graduate students enrolled in classes on Tuesday and it is no fairer to un-enroll someone who enrolled in good faith in order to compensate someone who may have been closed out of a section of a class," said Hewitt. "Students can place themselves on demand lists for closed classes."
"I want to apologize to students who were frustrated in their effort to register for courses," said Unsworth. "LTS will do our best to prevent such problems in the future."