Students left without UCD Connect over Bank Holiday

UCD students faced mass disruption on their UCD Connect accounts over the Bank Holiday weekend as a result of a major UCD Connect outage.Students were unable to access the website throughout the weekend and full service was not restored until Tuesday 26th October at approximately 1:20 am.IT Services declined to comment specifically to The University Observer about the matter, but released a statement in which they apologised for the inconvenience caused.IT Services cited “an unexpected technical issue with UCD Connect” as the reason for the disturbance.The University Observer understands that the majority of the student body is unaware of how to access Blackboard via a URL address, which operates even if there is a UCD Connect outage.IT Services have now posted links to email, connect files, Blackboard, SIS web and CORE Portal ESS facilities on their website, in case of such an outage reoccurring.IT Services acknowledged that direct logins are an important tool for students and that there is a need for them to be publicised among the student body, stating that that they are “currently reviewing the outage and intend to make direct logins to these services permanently available, the details of which will be posted on our website”. The University Observer spoke to a number of students affected by the outage.Ann O’Doherty, a third-year Veterinary student, told The University Observer: “I feel really annoyed at IT Services about the outage. No email of apology was sent out after the site went live again and I really think they owe it to us.”Another student, Thomas O’Connell, a final-year Arts student said: “I was unable to get on to Blackboard at all over the weekend, I had counted on the long weekend to get on top of things, now I’m more behind than before, it’s such a nightmare.”James McKenna of second-year Social Science expressed his concern to The University Observer: “It’s a real worry, I own a Mac so I can’t download Backpack so am dependent on Blackboard to function. I’ve heard of this happening a good few times before and can only imagine the stress if it happened during exams.” UCD students can access information regarding scheduled and unscheduled outages from the service announcements available from the IT Services website.IT Services also said in their statement that they “do not anticipate any further problems at this time”.