Students were, for once, given a good reason not to attend lectures last week as the College timetable system crashed, leaving hundreds of students without timetables.
Students started to report problems with their online timetables from early afternoon on the first Monday of teaching term. Status updates on Facebook went into overload, with many Erasmus students left wondering whether College had “forgotten” they were still in Trinity until Christmas.
Acting Director of IS Services, John Murphy, stated that “a number of problems may have contributed to the problem” and has assured College members that they are “investigating the matter to determine the precise factors that caused it”.
Mr. Murphy refused to be drawn on whether the failure was down to the large number of students attempting to access their timetables at the same time, saying “no assumptions are being made about the cause of the problem at this time”. Mr. Murphy added “systems are built to handle anticipated loads, with capacity for normal growth”.
Murphy has attempted to reassure students that the problem will not be repeated in future terms saying “in keeping with normal IS Services practice, every effort will be made to ensure adequate service in the future”. Mr. Murphy added that “a review of the service infrastructure will be carried out and any further measures identified will be applied. IS Services regularly publishes alerts in relation to systems issues on its website at http://isservices.tcd.ie. Alerts have been published in relation to the timetabling system on the website and further information will be made available as it emerges.”
Students’ Union Education Officer Ashley Cooke has said that the Union was “concerned” when a number of students reported that they couldn’t access their timetables. “The system has always been on a knife-edge,” says Cooke, who blamed the system failure on the large intake of students this year. Cooke has said that he hopes that the new ‘e-strategy’ will combat the problems seen in the first week back to College.