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Server fails during first day of housing draw

When Belmont students tried to register for housing on Monday afternoon, many were met with a frustrating error message.

The system crashed for about one hour and 15 minutes at the beginning of the housing selection process because of an update to the server, said Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life Anthony Donovan.

“Our vendor had made an update to our search fields, the part that lets people look and see what rooms are available. They removed two fields we had been using previously in an effort to be able to speed up people’s search results,” he said.

When the housing selection process began on Monday at 4 p.m., students were unable to search for available rooms and therefore could not sign up at all. A message on the housing page instructed students to go to the Office of Residence Life to sign up in person at their assigned times.

“We were helping people as they came in and hand-assigning them, but mostly we were trying to get the system back up. We worked with our vendor, and they identified the problem fairly quickly,” Donovan said.

Junior Emily Peterson was one of those students who experienced the server crash. She emailed the Office of Residence Life and went down to the office, but she wasn’t able to actually get onto the server for another 45 minutes, she said.

“I was very frustrated. I was worried I wasn’t going to get the room I wanted, and, being one of the few rising seniors staying on campus, I thought I deserved that early draw time,” she said. “It luckily worked out for me in the end.”

Donovan looked at the numbers of students who signed up yesterday, and he doesn’t think any students were unable to sign up because of the crash.

“Since it was down everywhere, no one was able to get on for that first hour, and frankly that’s the people with the best times anyhow,” he said.

He expects the rest of the housing selection process will run smoothly now that the vendor fixed the problem with the search fields.

“We can never tell, but that seemed to be the source of all the problems. Everything else seems to be working correctly.”

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