CaneLink system spurs controversy

The integration of the new CaneLink system has sparked some dissatisfaction around campus. With registration right around the corner, students feel this new program leaves much to be desired.

“[It is] useless and a waste of money,” sophomore Daylin Reyes said. “It’s not prettier or more convenient.”

Justin Borroto, chair of the Student Government (SG) IT Advisory board, said the decision to switch to CaneLink stemmed from the desire to keep UM on a standardized system.

According to Borroto, there had been coding concerns that led the university to outsource its student portal to Oracle PeopleSoft, a company that looks at ways to improve the student online registration experience.

“CaneLink is the name that is assigned to it, but PeopleSoft is a software made by Oracle the company, and UM purchased it,” he said.

The system strives to integrate all aspects of student life into one interface in order to facilitate the student portal experience.

The new shopping cart option allows students to plan out their schedules before their registration dates. This allows students to register in a single click, according to Borroto. There is also an option that allows students to be placed on a waiting list if the classes they are looking for are full.

Although this is efficient, these new features have not been enough to win some students over. Senior Anthony Lopez, who works for CaneNet Connection, the IT student support service, said he thinks it is important to educate campus on the new system.

“They haven’t taught anybody anything about it,” he said.

Lopez said that the program is functional, but the problem is that the user interface is not intuitive.

“How you would want things to be organized is definitely not,” he said. “Things feel a little scattered.”

Lopez also said that CaneLink’s search function does not help its cause. He mentioned that the system does not recognize key words. It only directs students to the correct link if the exact name is searched.

“… I don’t know where to find it, I don’t know what it’s called, so how would I know to search it?” Lopez said.

According to Borroto, the SG IT Advisory Board is looking to have a live tutorial for students to be able to get used to the new system. There are also tutorial and FAQ pages on the CaneLink website that serve to answer students’ questions about the new service.

“All the advisers have pamphlets on how to use CaneLink, and they’ve been trained on how to use it,” Borroto said. “I think that any time people have to adjust to something new, it’s a little difficult at first. … People don’t like change … it’s just a matter of people getting used to the new system rather than the system itself being inherently wrong or flawed.”

Other students, like junior Michael Delgado, do not see CaneLink as a problem. But Delgado believes that the timing of its launch is the dilemma.

“I don’t think Canelink is all that bad, honestly,” Delgado said. “They should not have implemented it right before registration for classes, since it takes time to get used to it.”

Lopez explained that the program is only as functional as it is easy to use.

“You can’t automatically assume … that everybody is going to be tech savvy or have the time to be wasting on figuring out where things are,” Lopez said.