UC Berkeley uses CS student project for new enrollment system in order to help save money
On March 2016, UC Berkeley switched over its enrollment system from Telebears to Cal Central. This change will move informational services and websites such as Tele-Bears, MyFinAid, Bearfacts, and Chancellor Dirks’s personal tumblr into the Cal Central website so that students can be hopelessly confused on one site rather than throughout the Berkeley interweb.
According to Berkeley Spokesperson Mike Peng, “Tele-bears was extremely outdated and old-fashioned, which is why we based the new system on an online shopping cart”. Peng went on to add that “We wanted the process of choosing classes to be like online shopping: quick, convenient and done at 4 in the morning- when students are drunk and prone to make terrible decisions they will regret the next day”.
The new scheduling system was originally designed by CS61A students as an extra credit project after a vast majority of the class failed the most recent midterm. [pullquote]After animal rights groups protested the administration’s attempt to hire chimpanzees to work on the coding for the system; the university decided to hire students as the next best alternative in light of the school’s 150 million dollar deficit. [/pullquote] After animal rights groups protested the administration’s attempt to hire chimpanzees to work on the coding for the system; the university decided to hire students as the next best alternative in light of the school’s 150 million dollar deficit. With a promise of 3 extra credit points, CS61A students enthusiastically worked for a week straight in a desperate attempt to save their grade.
Along with the changes to the shopping cart system, Peng also commented that they were working closely with ASUC to reflect the need of the student body.
“Student feedback is very important to us, and we consulted numerous students for improvement in the tele-bear system”. Peng added “Some tools, such as grade distributions, time preference and professor reviews were among the tools popularly suggested. Thus, after giving this a considerable amount of thought, we are pleased to announce that we have implemented none of the features suggested to us.”
Despite the administration’s support for the new system, not everyone shares the administration’s enthusiasm. According to one anonymous source, the bad user interface design and the removal of popular tools such as schedule builder were part of an attempt to confuse and discourage students from enrolling in classes in order to save the university money.
Ultimately, the administration promised students that they will help them through this tough transitional period and prevent it from being a bigger disappointment than the Cal’s Men Basketball Team’s performance against Hawaii during March Madness.