by Alison Northcott
Students are having trouble with the new web-based registration system, RAMSS (Ryerson Administrative Self Service).
RAMSS is struggling to keep up with the demands of more than 20,000 students who want to access their class schedules. But despite the problems, Ryerson’s registrar, Keith Alnwick, is optimistic. While students trying to access their class schedules might call the process a pain in the ass, Alnwick calls the glitchy system “a lively challenge.”
“We’re in the midst of a major system implementation,” he explained over the phone Monday. “This is a massive undertaking and it’s extraordinarily complicated.”
And frustrating, for some students, who have posted comments and questions on the university’s online message boards. Comments such as, “RAMSS is confusing!!” and “I think I’m going to cry” and “DAMN YOU RAMSS!” appeared on one message board.
But Alnwick, who’s also been keeping an eye on the message boards, says he’s encouraged by some of the more positive and helpful posts. “There have been some really fabulous messages from Ryerson students. It’s really enormously impressive,” he said.
“The way I see it, if everyone is having problems with courses, then I have no reason to panic, because it’s not just me,” one student posted. Another wrote: “YAY! I got mine, complete, and optimal right now for my own school/life stuff… I’m happy. Just thought it’d be good to know that it IS possible to have good results with this one.”
Alexis Toth, departmental assistant at the School of Architecture says students are calling her with their concerns and frustration about RAMSS. “We’re getting a ton of phone calls,” she says. “(RAMSS) wasn’t ready prior to launching it, so there’s a lot of confusion.”
But things are getting better, Alnwick says. “Slowly but surely things seem to be coming along,” he said, adding that the biggest challenge is handling the volume of users. RAMSS can currently handle 3,600 simultaneous users. Next week, user capacity will be increased by 35 per cent, bringing the maximum number of users to 4,800.
“Long term, we know this is going to be fabulous, but the implementation is always a challenge to the community,” Alnwick said. “In time, we’re going to have excellent service.”