New SIO improved old system, but needed better PR

Credit: Maria Raffaele/Art Editor Credit: Maria Raffaele/Art Editor

It’s late March, and the freeze over our Steel City is finally starting to thaw. Clouds are parting, the sun is shining, and flowers are emerging. But what is more beautiful than this welcomed springtime weather? The redesigned Student Information Online portal, of course.

SIO received a significant overhaul over break. Whereas the online interface was previously outfitted with an outdated style featuring confusing and poorly organized information sections, the new SIO is more suited to students’ real needs. Users can view their grades, schedule, finances, and other information — and can even see grades charted on a user-friendly (though not always comforting) line graph. Students can also download an unofficial PDF of their transcripts directly from the site.

On a campus where more students than not seem to be triple-majoring and co-chairing multiple student organizations, and maintaining an above-average grade point average, it’s about time that the software they use supports — not challenges — all of the aspects of their academic lives at Carnegie Mellon.

However, the new SIO system’s release and execution should have been promoted more effectively, rather than discovered largely via word of mouth through student social networks. There was little on-campus advertising and no official university e-mail announcing the system’s update, or even who was responsible for its change.

We look forward to the coming improvements in some of the other systems that students must access, such as On-Line Registration, and even the HUB’s main webpage. Moreover, we hope that such system upgrades will be promoted more effectively and communicated to the student body in a more direct and transparent manner.