After the My LaSalle (MLS) Enrollment System had been replaced by Oracle (animo.sys), the new system of the University to provide the students with a more efficient enrollment system resulted in an increased frustration amongst Lasallians during the online enlistment for the first term of academic year 2013-2014.
The seemingly plausible plan to replace MLS spoiled the expectations of the students as animo.sys posed more complications in the process of enrolling. The University Student Government (USG), in coordination with Information Technology Services (ITS) Office and the Office of the University Registrar (OUR), repeatedly revised the schedule of enrollment to address the complaints of the students.
Nevertheless, the failure of ITS to fix the technical problems led to the final decision of OUR, together with the USG to return in using MLS for enrollment. But those students who have successfully enrolled using the animo.sys, no longer need to enlist using MLS.
Old problems, new system
When a concerned student amidst the quandry asked about the new system in the official FAST2011 Facebook group, Patrick Lo, FAST2011 batch president replied, “Oracle is an international company that offers systems to schools, online shops and other companies as servers. NUS uses the system for their students as well. We are using Oracle now to be at par with international universities and we are even the first to use it in the country.”
While it is true that several universities abroad make use the same system, they do not go through the same problems Lasallians had gone through during the first run of animo.sys last May.
Early problems occurred when the assigned dates per student are defied and students go ahead to enroll at any time, regardless of their schedules. Consequently, the traffic ended up too much for the site to accommodate, as it only has the capacity for an estimated two thousand students per given time. Any more than that, the site is bound to crash.
USG President Migi Moreno furthers that when the University was working on animo.sys, there was a foreign consultant helping ITS with the website prior to enrollment. During enrollment, however, the foreign consultant was no longer around, but due to the many concerns, the University had to call back the consultant.
The consultant expressed that it was the first time he encountered such kind of problem on the new enrollment system, adding that because students want to have the slots in an ideal schedule they had plotted, the enrollment was done in a “panic”.
Meanwhile, USG Vice President for Internal Affairs Carlo Inocencio believes, “The capacity of animo.sys in terms of its accommodation on con-current time is bigger than MLS, however there were still areas that were overlooked while in transition to animo.sys.”
With only a few days left before the first enrollment day, several complaints concerning the new system were already being raised—almost like a foreshadowing of what was to occur.
One major concern was the process of using animo.sys. Moreno explains that prior to May 16, a number of students were still not proficient enough in using animo.sys to enroll despite the efforts to aid the student body through instructional videos and presentations.
One of the reasons for conducting mock enrollment was to test the Oracle given the number of enrollees. Moreno confirms that the limited number of students who participated in the mock enrollment was crucial for first official run of animo.sys. He also believes that if all, or at least majority of the students participated in the mock enrollment, the preliminary problems faced could have been remedied in time for a smoother operation during the actual enrollment.
Moreover, modifications to the usual enlistment schedule were made, giving advance enrollees an hour and thiry minutes to enlist before priority enrollees of SOE, RVR COB and LIA-COM were to be accomodated. While this sparked concerns among advance and priority enrollees, the OUR and ITS remained hopeful that the new system would be able to handle the usual traffic. With the modifications, the enrollment was narrowed down to four days instead of nine, with an hour and thirty minute intervals for each batch.
However, despite the scheming that was expected to go smoothly, first day enrollees took two days to enroll as they had encountered difficulty with accessing the site, most could not go through the first step of logging in. While some, by patience and sheer luck, were able to enlist into the classes they needed.
The USG is responsible for bridging the concerns of the students to the OUR and ITS, conducting several meetings regarding the many difficulties encountered during enrollment via animo.sys. They also conducted a survey for the advance enrollees of RVR-COB, SOE and LIA-COM regarding their experience on the first two days of animo.sys.
Moreno notes, “When we gathered the data, we actually found that out of 200 or so respondents, a little half of the them were able to get their preferred schedule, while a majority, about 57 percent of them did not get their preferred schedules because they lost their slots already in the classses they wanted to enroll in.”