Students battle over website with Yale

Students of Yale University attempted to create a more compatible, user friendly site to make searching and evaluating classes easier. The system was a huge success throughout the campus; students were able to plan their schedules, while reading class and professor ratings before making an informed decision on their class selections.  It just so happens that during the “add-drop” week where students try out and finalize their schedules, Yale blocked off the system from the campus website. Not only did they cut off all access for students but they threatened the two students who created the system; saying if they do not shut the site down they will be faced with disciplinary action. Yale labeled the site as “Malicious”.  The students tried working with the school to fix any problems they found to be an issue. They proposed to change the name of the site, and the way that students were allowed to rate their teachers. Disappointed, one student (creator of site) commented

“We thought we could work out all of these issues,” says Xu, “up until Sunday night.”

Instead the school was unwilling to negotiate with the students and cut off all access to the system. This not only upset the creators of the site but all Yale students. The students expected to be able to rely on the program and organize their classes for that upcoming week and instead it was ripped right out from under them. This does not look good from the student’s perspective. Yale came off looking like they did not want to support the ingenious design of new software their own students created. Furthermore, they took away a rating and evolution method students used of their professors. This could be seen as a way of blocking access from students knowing the “good” from the “bad” or “hard” from “easy”, which I think all parents and students have the right to know.  This situation also gives Yale a bad representation knowing that they were unwilling to cooperate with their students. Was it because they built a site better than theirs? You would think they would want to work and confront the issues to make it a program they were both satisfied with. This would’ve made Yale “the university that taught the inventors of Yale Bluebook+”.  The one thing that they did, that I do agree with, is send a response letter out to all students explaining their reasons behind the shut down.  However, these reasons I find could be have been easily fixed, had they cooperated with their students.

There is much more to this story- Another student created a site that was unblockable for Yale to shut down! Follow and respond with your own opinions!

Read more about and the reasons for their shut down on the sites below:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/01/16/yale-students-made-a-better-version-of-its-course-catalog-then-yale-shut-it-down/

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/22/nyregion/yale-students-tangle-with-university-over-yale-blue-book-website.html?ref=todayspaper

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