Online registration raises security issue

Students who plan to register in December or could not get through to register early via telephone are strongly encouraged to register online at Rattlerlink.

Since May, the Rattlerlink Interactive Schedule has received over 93,000 hits. Since early registration began about 2500 students successfully completed their schedules online, said Michael James, university registrar, who happened to be reading an email at the time of the interview from a pre-nursing student, praising online registration. “Keep up the good work,”the message said.

“It’s very user friendly,” said Blake Miller, 20, a third-year business administration student from Atlanta. “It took me all of two minutes to do my schedule.”

To register online, students need two pin numbers: the Rattlerlink pin number, sent to some students in the mail and a registration access number obtained from academic advisers.

Once signed on to Rattlerlink, click the web registration icon and type in the registration access code. Then, type in the reference numbers for the desired courses and click submit.

“It will tell you if the class is closed, needs a signature or is OK,”Miller said. “When all of the classes are OK hit confirm and print it out. It also tells you how much a student owes for that semester.”

Miller added that online registration is much better than telephone registration, especially when a student has to try four or five times to get through on the phone. Sounds great, right? But some students are apprehensive about registering online because of uncertainty about information security.

“If it’s not secure anyone can go on and get my pin numbers, social security number and manipulate my schedule,” said Amber Hickson, 20, a third-year marketing student from Atlanta. “I’ve been using the telephone for the past two years, so I’m comfortable with that.”

But security is the primary reason why students need two pin numbers to register online. “Remember once you get the Rattlerlink pin number you can change in at any time,” James said. “It is secure.”

He added that the inscription software used for online registration, called Secure Socket, is the same used for Rattlerlink and is “about as secure as it gets.”

Miller said she too was skeptical at first but it’s about time students were able to register online. “When I found out the telephone registration system was down I just didn’t feel like waiting.”

“FAMU is one of the last institutions in Florida to offer online registration,” James said. “We fully expect for online registration to become primary way for students to make their schedules.”

However this decision won’t be final until it it is approved by the senior administration. “We don’t expect any action before the next two years,” he added.

James also urged students who register online to print out their schedules online as well as obtain a formal printout from the Grand Ballroom. Students who are having any problems can contact the Registrars Office at599-3115.