The Student Newspaper at Middlebury College

The Middlebury Campus

New Housing Software Suffers Glitch

By KYLE NAUGHTON

During the scheduled housing registration period on Tuesday, April 25, the new StarRez housing software suffered a glitch that prevented students from signing into their accounts. Students across multiple grades could not gain access to the StarRez sign-in interface, and once it became clear that the problem was not isolated but system-wide, the administration shut down the software entirely.

Prior to April 25, multiple tests had been conducted to ensure the StarRez software was running properly. The housing registration slot was originally pushed back to allow this extra week of testing, and the software appeared to be fully functioning for each respective grade level during the testing period.

“[The administration] went through a testing phase to make sure that everything worked,” said Doug Adams, associate dean of students for residential and student life. “We were able to test all aspects [of the software] during the extra week, and everything was fine.”

However, when students attempted to register on Tuesday, few could even sign into their StarRez accounts.

“When we launched on Tuesday,” Adams said, “there was immediately a great number of students who could not gain access to the sign-in wizard, preventing them from accessing the system. As soon we determined it was a system-wide issue, we shut [the program] down.”

In response to the shutdown, the administration contacted the software vendor to help troubleshoot the issue and eventually managed to get the system back online and running smoothly. Any room draws that managed to be processed during the initial period on Tuesday were removed after the shutdown.

“We are still trying to figure out exactly what happened [during the crash],” Adams said. “We were able to reset the system and then retest the entire program to make sure it all worked.”

The afternoon after the system was shut down, the administration sent out an email containing students’ new housing selection time slots. These selection periods were kept in their original order, but were all moved to Wednesday, April 26.

While Wednesday’s draw ran smoothly for rising juniors and seniors, a time slot for Brainerd Commons sophomores still encountered a small number of isolated issues.

“When we relaunched, there was one brief hold up within the sophomore drawing process,” Adams said. “It didn’t affect the juniors or seniors at all, but just impacted sophomore students within one time slot of the Brainerd draw. We were then able to address the individual issues of those students within that time slot.”

Going forward, the administration intends to further incorporate students’ opinions on both StarRez and the housing process itself.

“We will be reviewing the amount of time allocated for each time block,” Adams said, “as well as continuing to take in student feedback.”

Leave a Comment