The new Tier One status of our University represents a proud moment in our history. It brings greater recognition to our school, and this translates into more opportunities to recruit and retain high-quality faculty, staff and students with a corresponding increase in government and private grants, as well as other funding opportunities.
It would be nice if this designation also brought greater infrastructure and usability improvements for the students and faculty already here.
This semester, I currently have seven different logins and corresponding passwords for UH classes and services.
I have a PeopleSoft account, Cougar Net account, School of Communication computer access account, FTP access account, Spanish Lab account, Blackboard account and a Parking and Transportation account.
Not only is this redundant, excessive and confusing, one could argue it is also counter-productive. Computer security experts remind us never to write down our usernames and passwords.
However, it is nearly impossible for UH students to keep track of which passwords and usernames belong to which account, much less for them to remember the randomly assigned passwords which expire at different times and with irritating regularity.
Therefore, many students keep them written down in multiple locations, lest they be caught at campus having to do something frivolous — like use a campus computer when the list is at home. This defeats the purpose of having a username and password combination in the first place.
The usernames and passwords are also required to adhere to different protocols and need to be replaced at varying, random intervals. This does not lead to a more secure system. It leads to frustration and a waste of staff time as students repeatedly have to request new passwords and to be reminded of their usernames.
One student happily told me the first week of school that if he deliberately entered the wrong computer login password four times, he was given the option to change it.
This revelation was whispered conspiratorially and makes one wonder why a Tier One university is so paranoid about security that its students are forced to deliberately sabotage the system these ridiculous procedures are designed to protect.
Furthermore, it doesn’t really makes sense why each school has different logins for their computers. I have no desire or need to use a computer in the architecture building, but since we all pay the same tuition and fees, it would make sense for all students to have access to campus resources if they are needed.
Jeb Schneider is a senior print journalism major and may be reached at [email protected].