Staff Editorial

By Staff Editorial

At its worst, Macalester seems as though it is run by a web of inhuman acronyms. But this week brought signs of significant responsiveness from a key hub (literally and figuratively) in the alphabet soup network: ITS (Information Technology Services).Triggered in part by last Sunday’s power outage (and doubtlessly compounded by a severely bruised ego) Macalester’s e-mail server, OCS (Oracle Collaboration Suite), has functioned only episodically, seriously hampering the work of students, faculty and staff. ITS staff responded by working overtime (in many cases, overnight) to restore OCS for the time being. Further, they announced the decision to speed up the already planned transition to Google Apps for Education.

It should be noted that OCS seems never to have enjoyed anything remotely like popularity. The names of longstanding, Macalester-specific Facebook groups speak volumes. (Facebook, it seems, is almost never down.) Most creatively, there is “I don’t need a lover! OCS goes down on me every night–we’re talking hours!” Then, with less flair but equal candor, we have “Webmail is One Crappy System.” You get the picture.

But the grievances, however genuine, are far from unique to Macalester. The field of information technology is widely satirized in popular culture for its perceived inhumanity and inefficacy.

This week, we saw a rapid turnaround by ITS staff in expediting the transition to Google Apps, now to be completed in a matter of weeks rather than a matter of months. This shows commendable dynamism, competence and commitment on the part of ITS staff.

The lights are on, and this time, it looks like somebody’s home.