The summer months frustrated countless Mercer students. As of August 14, the school has yet to notify many students of this semester’s cost. It’s not comforting to move back into expensive dorms and houses while financially blind. Study-abroad students bought their $1,000+ plane tickets without knowing how much tuition their scholarships covered, including yours truly. Many must also take out student loans at their local banks before moving to Macon.
The main culprit behind this delay is the new computer system. By no means do I believe my IT implementation skills are more effective than those who installed the new SIS; however, it isn’t hard to notice when something has gone terribly wrong.
Mercer’s SIS was outdated for years, and replacement’s implementation was delayed repeatedly. Regardless of these delays, which should have worked out any remaining kinks, the system arrived with more bugs than the entire Georgia wilderness. Classes disappeared from the database as students tried to register. Various issues forced departments to process files by hand. This fiasco not only inconvenienced students but also placed massive stress on Mercer’s employees, such as those in financial aid. Advisers had to juggle frustrated students, a broken computer system and layoffs.
So who screwed up? Honestly, I don’t know.
This letter calls for investigation rather than condemnation. I am confident that President Underwood will take this failure of management seriously, even if it lies within the highest ranks of the administration. However, in the meantime, students should treat all Mercer employees with respect. Many are overwhelmed and are doing their best to cope with limited resources. Remember, all are innocent until proven guilty. But I hope the guilty are sacked.
– Sean Kennedy