Registration clerks fled their posts after feeling threatened by angry students who couldn’t access the online registration server for Extended Spring classes on Monday.

Registration clerks attend an emergency meeting with two administrators to work out a game plan over how to deal with the chaos at the Student Services Center on Monday, April 8.
Registration clerks attend an emergency meeting with two administrators to work out a game plan over how to deal with the chaos at the Student Services Center on Monday, April 8.

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 Rocha’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 President’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.

“They are targeting us. They were threatening us and cussing us out,” she said. “We are doing what we can and what we are instructed to do.”

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, “Say ‘start over’ to me one more time! I dare you, I double dare you!”

Miller called Police Chief Don Yoder to keep cadets and officers at the Student Services Center until registration closed.

“Campus police will be there from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the next few days,” he said.

Bell apologized to the staff.

“I am incredibly apologetic. This all falls on me,” 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.

“We knew that the system was going to have problems if everyone registered at once,” she said.

Fraser argued that there should have been a way to set priority registration for Extended Spring.

“I don’t quite buy that there was no way to do priority registration for this,” he said.

Bell said that because spring semester was still underway, Lancerlink’s outdated system would not allow for priority registration to be done a second time during the same semester.

“I was told we couldn’t schedule a second priority registration period. We did seek that out,” he said. “I understood this would be a crash of magnanimous proportions.”

The group discussed whether people could be trained to perform registration input at the last minute.

“You have to have that special skill,” said Sullivan. “You can’t just train someone at the last minute.”

Clerk Supervisor Gail Brodnax was concerned about calming down the students who had been waiting in the line for hours.

“It’s been a consistent overflow of traffic. It’s frustrating and out of control,” she said. “Students who have been waiting for over three hours are very frustrated.”

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.

“We just don’t have the staff!” she exclaimed. “We did consider that initially, but the staff couldn’t handle manually inputting information into the system.”

Miller said in retrospect, the situation could have been handled better.

“This was poorly handled. No doubt, this was poorly handled,” he said. “You have my sincere apologies. If God is with us, hopefully this will pass.”

5 Replies to “Registration clerks flee posts after facing threats”

  1. I agree with you Mr. Former Editor; Calling the campus security guards WAS a wonderful move. They are true professionals.

    PS: For sale….20-flying monkeys and a crystal ball. Contact L. Roberts at campus security.

  2. Good Call Admin! Lets get the campus police involved, that always makes people feel comfortable in stressful situations on campus. I don’t blame students for being upset, this is pure lack of competence in the administration.

    This situation would have been easily avoidable if there had been no calendar change. Don’t you all miss winter session?

    The changes made at PCC in the last year or so have done nothing but hurt students.

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