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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Making Sense of the New SOLAR System

    On April 24, 2002, the SOLAR system went online for business. The system formallyknown as SOAR has been revamped in a number of ways. The Statesman sought aninquiry into the new system with Richard Reeder, Chief Information Officer atStony Brook University. A number of new SOLAR features and problems were discussed.

    Upon logging into the now outdated SOAR, a new ‘Stony Brook ID Number’is assigned to each student. Students were formerly required to use their SocialSecurity numbers for identification purposes on campus, but this practice isbeing phased out through the SOLAR System.

    The new Student ID number and the new SOLAR system make the SOAR completelyobsolete. SOAR allowed students to accomplish tasks such as checking gradesand reviewing personal financial status. The SOLAR system provides all of theseoptions and introduces new features, most notably allowing students to schedulenew classes.

    ‘I don’t know exactly what it is, but this new interface is terrible,’Honors College student Emmanuel Nketiah, one of the first to register, said.

    ‘I can’t seem to register for the courses I want.’

    Reeder addressed some of the problems of the SOLAR system’s early stages, suchas the ‘1026’ and ‘1028’ phenomenon. These numbers representthe Summer and Fall 2002 sessions, respectively, and students must enter thecorrect digits in the correct location in the system in order to access theregistration they want. The system defaults to the Fall schedule, so one must’be careful,’ Reeder warns.

    ‘Some people are having trouble registering for both fall and summer courses,’Reeder said. He added that a lot of the problems simply have to do with thelearning curve involved with any new system.

    The classes themselves have four digit programming codes, but these codes changeevery semester, Reeder said. This is also a concern for students looking toregister online. These codes change for each class from semester to semester.

    ‘I still don’t get it, it was a little confusing,’ freshman AdianecRoss said. ‘I’ll have to work on it.’

    Other SOLAR features that distinguish the system from SOAR system include moreextensive answers to transcript and financial aid inquiries. Getting into aclass reserved for particular students and or wait-listing for classes filledto capacity can now accomplished online, rather than through harrowing visitsto the departments, pleading with professors and waiting online at the Registrar’sOffice.

    ‘This is better what we had before,’ sophomore Sammy Juarez said.’It’s got a better variety of everything.’

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