On the first day of the fall semester, CUNYfirst crashed, preventing students from performing various academic activities.
CUNYfirst, which stands for City University of New York Fully Integrated Resources and Services Tool, is an online management system that is used by CUNY students, faculty and staff.
For students, the primary purposes of CUNYfirst are to add or drop courses, pay tuition bills, see course information (such as the times and locations that they meet), find out which textbooks are required for their courses and more.
According to the Office of Converging Technologies at Queens College, the reason for this crash was due to more colleges using CUNYfirst than ever before. OCT estimated that about 5000 students “were all trying to log in at the same time to do the same thing. Imagine 5000 people trying to press one button at the same time.”
They suggested that students use MyQC to view course schedules in order to reduce the flow of traffic on CUNYfirst.
Before the system crashed, QC sent an e-mail to students informing them that CUNYfirst was difficult to access. Shortly after the system crashed, the Provost sent an e-mail to students informing them that the date for a 100 percent tuition refund was being pushed back from the first day of classes to the end of the business day on Sept. 3.
Additionally, the Provost said that students would not be charged a late registration fee or change of program fee until Thursday, Sept. 4, when the 50 percent refund policy would be in effect.
For students who needed to add or drop courses, the Provost said that they should go to the One Stop Center in the Dining Hall or the Advising Center in Kiely Hall to fill out add/drop requests on a paper form. These forms would then be processed by the Registrar in the order that they were received.
However, the CUNYfirst failure did not impact every student equally.
“I printed my schedule already,” freshman Javier Barrera said, adding that the fact that CUNYfirst crashed did not really affect him.
Another freshman said that he checked CUNYfirst the day before the semester started and the day after, but not on the first day of the semester and only heard vaguely that the system crashed on the first day of classes.
The problem is being handled by CUNY Central. According to OCT, they plan to fix the problem by next semester. A statement that is visible on CUNYfirst after logging in says, “The University is working closely with our technology partner, Oracle, to resolve the issues that caused the service problems.”
The statement further says that “Oracle had previously performed tests to ensure that the system could handle peak usage (which occurs at the semester’s start), and CIS will continue to work with Oracle to review these tests and make the necessary changes to the system.”