MySlice update was a mistake

When I first logged into MySlice to officially accept my Syracuse University enrollment letter for 2020, I thought, “Is this the student portal?” At the time, MySlice seemed to have been created in 1990 and had not been updated since. I was signing up with SU to major in Information Technology…and this is the website they made for their students? It certainly made me suspicious.

Nevertheless, after using it a bit, I got used to the website. I knew where everything was, and there were titles for each resource and links to useful information. If I wanted to find something like Degree Works (a resource to see the courses needed to meet the requirements), it was easily accessible through the website.

Don’t get me wrong, the old MySlice website had a lot of issues. The schedule generator did not allow students to transfer classes from their scheduled schedules to their “shopping carts” for registration. It looked very chaotic and the text was incredibly small. But, like many other SU students, I got used to the look of MySlice, and it was an easy-to-navigate website with a little practice.

Last semester, SU announced that the MySlice website would be updated. SU even emailed all students in September promising that the new MySlice website would provide “increased mobile capability, accessibility, and personalization.” I thought every student at SU would finally have an easy to navigate and visually appealing website. I was wrong.

The update has made it even more difficult for students to access the website. After the update, MySlice was saying “request outdated” when students tried to log in. In order to fix this problem, users had to clear their cache and cookies on their browser. Even after the cache is cleared and students open the website, the only things visible are the headers from the old website, and nothing under those headers. For example, if students don’t remember that Degreeworks is under the advice header, it can be very difficult to find. Personally, I just use the search bar to find anything.
Visually, the website has gone from looking like it was created in the 90s to looking like it was created in 2000. Although this is some improvement, MySlice still looks obsolete. We need a modern looking website that even students new to SU can understand and easily use to find information.

Students register for classes, pay bursar bills, select housing and meal plans, view their financial aid, and view their grades through MySlice. Why is a website so crucial for students so difficult to navigate?

It’s hard to fully understand why we don’t have an attractive and easy to navigate student portal. There are many third-party websites that we could use to create a student portal. For example, My School Design is a company that creates websites specifically for schools. Appypie, a no-code web and app development platform, is another great option.

We also have many skilled and incredible tech professionals on campus: Jeffrey Rubin, Michael Fudge, and Lauren Hardee-Chase, to name a few. There are also incredibly talented students from the School of Information Studies and the College of Engineering and Computer Science who would love the opportunity to fix the MySlice website.

Personally, I’d love to see the SU community come together to create a great website that’s both visually appealing and easy to navigate. Having professors teaching how to make a website and students interacting with MySlice daily coming together to create a great myslice website – wouldn’t that be the perfect solution?

The bottom line is this: SU students need an easy-to-navigate student portal that feels like it was created in 2022. We already have so many great faculty and students here on campus – why not use them to create a website that works for all of us?

Melanie Wilder is a second-year political studies and information management student. His column appears every two weeks. She can be reached at [email protected].