UVic’s technology is in need of a serious update

Editorials Opinions
This is genuinely a real screenshot of what happened when we tried to download the latest academic calendar to check how large it really was.
This is genuinely a real screenshot of what happened when we tried to download the latest academic calendar to check how large it really was.

Ah, back-to-school season. You’re nearly upon us, and that means, once again, that fresh faces and grizzled graduates will be subjected to the steaming trash heap that is UVic technology. For those of our readers who are new to UVic, who have somehow never needed to use a UVic map or MyPage, sit down and buckle up. You’re in for a rough ride.

As you take to the internet to enrol in or drop out of classes, all you need is reliable internet and a straight-forward website, right? If only it were that easy. The wifi on campus is slow and spotty, and even the slightest bit of movement makes a router more confused than a first-year in Cornett. Even if you do sit perfectly still, chances are you’ll be stuck on UVicStart. Has anyone ever actually used UVicStart?

Maybe you’re a parent of a new UVic student and you’re thinking of pulling up a campus map. Cute joke — the PDF file is larger than a wait time at a UVic counselling office.

MyPage is fine if you happen to be on your laptop, but good luck doing anything at all from your phone. If you have found a way to look at your courses, or even just see until Wednesday on your timetable, please send us a letter.

Then, of course, there’s the fun experience of finding a great course with an interesting description, realizing it’s being offered at the perfect time, and then discovering you’ve been looking at the 2011-2012 course calendar. ‘No worries,’ you say, ‘I’ll find my way to the most current iteration of the course calendar.

And he was never seen again.

If you’re thinking, “Hey, hasn’t the Martlet written about this before?” then you have a good memory! We’ve been writing about UVic’s shitty technology and mobile access for years, but the real news is that nothing has changed at all.

Changes should be taking place sometime this year — as reported last year in our UVic Mobile App review — but we’ve yet to see any sign of movement. Not that we would notice any changes, though, because of our inability to connect to the lackluster internet service on campus.

If you do finally get connected to UVic’s wifi to check out your Course Spaces, or your MyPage, don’t be alarmed if you have to enter your Netlink ID in four or five times. This is a security measure to make sure that no one, not even you, is gaining access to your account without permission.

We get it: higher-ups at UVic should be focused on other important matters like figuring out ways to raise our tuition without starting riots, rather than trying to fix their tech problems. Half of the time there isn’t a fix and everything is just chalked up to being underfunded.

Perhaps money is the issue — it’s damn expensive to fix websites and university-wide servers. Lord knows the Martlet’s website collapses if anyone clicks on a link with too much force. It’s really a shame that UVic doesn’t have hundreds of starving students that would literally work for hours without sleep or food (fueled by caffeine and adderall) to fix the website for a few course credits and maybe some money toward their tuition.

But what do we know? We can’t even get our website working half the time. If only we had a team of highly-paid experts to fix our website issues like UVic does, then maybe our tech problems would be solved.

Although, if their progress is anything to judge by, maybe they wouldn’t.