Or not. Orientation was yesterday. Aside hours of administrative information spoonfed to us at some god-awful hour in the day, the technological inadequacies of this school became OVERLY apparent.
[Warning, long rant/whining ahead]
And I'm not talking about HDTV flatscreen monitors in the hall, but purely internet access to academics. Right now Berekely has:
1. One website to access info regarding fin aid, registration status, refunds issued, etc.
2. One website to add, drop. change classes
3. One website to access your e-mail via web (though it is pop3, imagine that)
4. Business hours of operation for numbers 1 and 2, with number 2 being down until Monday the 23.
5. Payment and issuance of Fin Aid refunds/loan disbursements until AFTER classes begin (books? credit card...moving expenses? credit card...new computer? daddy's checkbook).
6. No gridding of courses on calendar and no access to classmates's contact info.
What's the impediment to improving these? I do not see any reason whatsoever that 1 and 2 cannot be combined with IMPROVED hours and IMPROVED servers. It takes me on average 3 minutes to access any information on 1. 3 fucking minutes? The univesrity apartments I'm in provide T1 connections and 3 minutes? I understand busy season with semester beginning shortly, etc...but 3 minutes? Oh the best is if you click on the wrong link...make that 6 minutes.
Why not combine 3 and 6?
I feel as though part of my frustration is just not being familiar with the system. I imagine as I grow more accustomed I will not be as angry. However, there is no excuse for a school so strong in its technology programs to be so archaic. Most other UC's have centralized websites to access enrollment, class listings, classmates, e-mail, etc. On top of that those sites actually work a tad faster than the equivalent of a 14kbs modem. At the same time, there is an absolute reluctance to improve technology. It is simply not a priority. Only this summer did Boalt wire it's largest lecture halls for electrical outlets at every desk. I cannot imagine any other top tier law school not having electrical outlets in lecture halls...if there are any, I'm open to corrections.
I hope that at some point or another the powers that be come to realize that aside from keeping up with other schools, Berkeley needs to meet the needs of its students, who are increasingly computer dependant...the question of computer literacy has long been answered.