Bear Bucks outage lasts 28 hours, disrupts printing and purchases
Senior Brian Lebow spent an hour looking for quarters to dry his wet laundry when the Millbrook Apartments drying machines refused to take his Bear Bucks Monday afternoon.
“I was doing laundry, and I put my clothes in two washers like normal; then I came back down half an hour later. I moved all my clothes to two dryers, and I went to swipe my card, and the machine didn’t work and said it was offline,” Lebow said.
“I moved all my clothes from the washer to a different building, put my clothes in the dryer there, went to swipe my card there, and then that didn’t work either.”
A 28-hour outage of the Bear Bucks system left students with dirty laundry and unable to use vending machines or make purchases with their campus card.
The issue lasted from Monday morning to Tuesday afternoon, when the system was finally restored. The issue coincided with widespread printer outages across the Danforth Campus.
The campus card outage was identified as an issue with the application an outside vendor sold to the University. Barbara Braun, director of Student Technology Services, said that overall, the application issue has been an isolated incident.
“We’ve had [the application] for several years, and this is the first hiccup I remember that impacted such a wide range of services,” Braun said.
Locations around campus continued to accept meal points, but students could not add money to their Bear Bucks accounts or even check their meal point balances.
According to Rachel Reinagel, manager of Campus Card Services, the outage lasted from 11:30 a.m. on Monday to around 3 p.m. on Tuesday, when reloading and balance check services on the Human Resource Management System and WebSTAC also went back up.
Dining Services was not affected by the outage, Reinagel said.
The printing outage affected some printers for part of the total outage, according to Braun.
“We do know there were some printers that weren’t working, multifunctional devices where the key card and swipe are built in,” Braun said. “[Information Services and Technology] were able to go back to allow students to print; we found a way to work around those issues that evening.”
According to Braun, many printers, including the ones in Residential Life, were not affected by the outage because they do not use the application that had an issue.
The scope of the issue was discovered in part through feedback from students reporting problems to STS.
“Students should let STS know; [STS] can run down the problem. We had a lot of good feedback, so we really appreciate that,” Braun said.
With additional reporting by Zach Kram.