AIM changes miss mark

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    By Nathaniel Wadsworth

    Despite indications from a recent letter, changes to Academic Information Management affecting current students will not occur in October.

    A letter sent to students last week stated changes to AIM were targeted for deployment by mid-October. The letter also included a brochure from AIM.

    Current students will not see any changes until December, said Ford Stevenson, dean of Student Academic Advisement Services. Those changes will appear minor but will make AIM easier to use and available from anywhere a person has Internet access.

    While some changes to AIM will take effect before Nov. 7 when registration begins, those changes are related to admissions, curriculum management and class scheduling. Other changes originally slated for October deployment will not actually be implemented until after registration, Stevenson said.

    Representatives from the office of Information Technology refused to comment on the matter.

    Jeffrey Grant Cannon, 23, a junior from West Linn, Ore. majoring in political science, said he didn”t think it was necessary to send a letter to the students announcing the changes.

    “We”ve come to expect change from the Internet,” Cannon said. “Sending out a mailer informing us of changes isn”t necessary.”

    A committee formed by representatives from several departments on campus wanted to inform students about the changes in AIM. Natalie Cook, vice-president of public relations at BYUSA and a member of the committee, said committee members asked BYUSA to communicate the information to students.

    Cook said the letter was sent to all students whose current information is available.

    Stevenson, who also sat on the committee, said it was important to communicate with the student body.

    “We felt that it was important to alert the students that we were going to launch a new system,” Stevenson said. “It was certainly a good faith effort on our part.”

    Two years ago Stevenson sat on a committee to evaluate student services at BYU. The committee found that a major complaint among students was that the administration did not communicate with them. Since then a greater effort has been made to keep students informed, Stevenson said.

    He also said it was important to send out the AIM brochure, something that wouldn”t work via e-mail.

    J.T. Steele, 23, a junior from Tracy, Calif. majoring in communications, said the brochure was not helpful.

    “I found the brochure to be the least informational thing about it,” he said. “It seemed like such a waste of money because it was so unclear and so vague.”

    Steele said he understands the letter was sent out to inform students, but it was a very expensive way to do it.

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