Registration clerks fled their posts after feeling threatened by angry students who couldnâ€™t access the online registration server for Extended Spring classes on Monday.
An emergency meeting followed with two administrators to work out a game plan over how to deal with the chaos at the Student Services Center.
The handful of workers was so overwhelmed, they marched to President Mark Rochaâ€™s office to complain about problems with both the ancient Lancerlink registration server and the manual registration process. Dina Chase, dean of admissions and records, and Associated Students President Simon Fraser and an AS vice president accompanied the workers. The clerks met in the Presidentâ€™s Conference Room. Senior vice presidents Robert Bell and Robert Miller spoke to the staff.
President Rocha did not attend the meeting because he was preoccupied, according to secretary Mary Thomson.
Clerk Jeannie Sullivan said she felt very threatened by the students in line at the registration office.
â€œThey are targeting us. They were threatening us and cussing us out,â€ she said. â€œWe are doing what we can and what we are instructed to do.â€
The staff heard students making violent threats, prompting them to call in the campus police to patrol the registration line. Sullivan mentioned a Facebook PCC Memes image of someone holding a gun posted Monday that read, â€œSay â€˜start overâ€™ to me one more time! I dare you, I double dare you!â€
Miller called Police Chief Don Yoder to keep cadets and officers at the Student Services Center until registration closed.
â€œCampus police will be there from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the next few days,â€ he said.
Bell apologized to the staff.
â€œI am incredibly apologetic. This all falls on me,â€ he said.
The server got an average of over 400 hits per second, much higher than the average 50 hits per second, according to Dale Pittman, director of management information services. The high traffic led to a slow down of the server.
“The server is oversubscribed,” he said.
The staff agreed that the enormous numbers of students who could not get on the server to register could have been avoided if priority registration was put in place.
Chase said she had been concerned about the Extended Spring registration fiasco for weeks.
â€œWe knew that the system was going to have problems if everyone registered at once,â€ she said.
Fraser argued that there should have been a way to set priority registration for Extended Spring.
â€œI donâ€™t quite buy that there was no way to do priority registration for this,â€ he said.
Bell said that because spring semester was still underway, Lancerlinkâ€™s outdated system would not allow for priority registration to be done a second time during the same semester.
â€œI was told we couldnâ€™t schedule a second priority registration period. We did seek that out,â€ he said. â€œI understood this would be a crash of magnanimous proportions.â€
The group discussed whether people could be trained to perform registration input at the last minute.
â€œYou have to have that special skill,â€ said Sullivan. â€œYou canâ€™t just train someone at the last minute.â€
Clerk Supervisor Gail Brodnax was concerned about calming down the students who had been waiting in the line for hours.
â€œItâ€™s been a consistent overflow of traffic. Itâ€™s frustrating and out of control,â€ she said. â€œStudents who have been waiting for over three hours are very frustrated.â€
Miller said the entire fiasco could not have been completely avoided, but suggested having staff work overtime could help get more students through.
Chase argued that there were not enough trained clerks to work the lines.
â€œWe just donâ€™t have the staff!â€ she exclaimed. â€œWe did consider that initially, but the staff couldnâ€™t handle manually inputting information into the system.â€
Miller said in retrospect, the situation could have been handled better.
â€œThis was poorly handled. No doubt, this was poorly handled,â€ he said. â€œYou have my sincere apologies. If God is with us, hopefully this will pass.â€