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By Wing Hong Tse

RAMSS appears to be randomly pulling students out of their registered courses just before the winter semester begins.

Quin Powell, 23, a second-year post-registered-nurse student, said she was dropped out of a clinical course. She talked with her faculty to get it back. “I’m just annoyed that it dropped me out of the class,” she said. “RAMSS is going through some issues right now. Everything’s haywire.”

Meanwhile, fourth-year nursing student Juliette Phillips said she heard RAMSS was acting up over the holiday break for her classmates. “It just seemed like it started automatically withdrawing people from the classes they had picked,” the 24-year-old said.

“People registered and then got dropped, and then re-registered and got dropped again. Some people got dropped out of all of their courses.”

RAMSS (Ryerson Administrative Management Self Service) is an online resource where students can register for courses and check fees, grades and class schedules. It replaced ROWS (Registrar’s Office Web Services), a similar system, last semester. Ryerson’s Registrar, Keith Alnwick, has an explanation for RAMSS’s latest snags. “The wording that’s being used in the course selection part of the RAMSS system is giving a misconception,” he said.

“When a student makes a course selection, that appears to the student that he or she is now formally enrolled in the course.”

But, the fact is, the student is not formally enrolled. Students pre-register for the following year’s courses in the spring. During the fall, they have the chance to change their winter courses. With pre-registration, students are not choosing what courses they will be taking, but rather, what they would like to be taking. Then, when Ryerson creates timetables for the winter semester, class space fills up, resulting in some students getting dropped by RAMSS.

“It’s creating a certain amount of confusion,” said Alnwick, adding that it’s “a presentation issue as opposed to a technical issue.” He said he’s received many comments on this and will look into fixing the misimpression. He also said that he’s seen RAMSS automatically drop a lot of students from their courses because they did not have the proper pre-requisites. Last fall — with the introduction of RAMSS — was the first time Ryerson had this automated drop feature, he said.

Problems are to expected when new technology is implemented, Ryerson president Sheldon Levy said. “I have never, ever seen a new system come in that doesn’t have major hiccups,” he said. He added that, while he understands the frustration of students and faculty members, the administration is working to correct the problem.

“What we have here are very good people (in the administration) doing their best,” he said.

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