The DiamondLine’s dial tone is about to go silent.
The Office of Academic Records sent a mass e-mail to Temple students on Tuesday, Sept. 20, announcing that the DiamondLine will be “removed from service” on Oct. 1. Friday is the last day the DiamondLine will be in service.
Administration cites a combination of out-of-date hardware and the popularity of OWLnet as reasons for shutting down the telephone service, which offers services similar to OWLnet, such as course registration and access to student grades and financial aid information.
Several departments were involved in the decision to shut down the DiamondLine, including Financial Aid, the Bursar’s Office, and Computer Services.
“The hardware and software that run the DiamondLine is no longer supported by the vendor,” said Associate Vice President of Information Services Barbara Dolhansky. “DiamondLine started in 1995 and it’s still using the same technology. There will be no more upgrades, and if the system breaks next year we won’t be able to support it.”
Dolhansky also said that statistics from the past four years show a continual trend of students moving away from using DiamondLine and that “use is wildly going toward OWLnet.” Some students still use the DiamondLine as a backup for class registration if OWLnet’s servers are busy or the system is down.
“Last year they forgot to give us the OK to register, so I had to use DiamondLine,” Jenna Marrone, a sophomore, said. “A lot of people use it, especially if you’re in the dorms, you can never get on-line.”
With the DiamondLine out of service, OWLnet will be students’ only option for registering on their own. Some are worried that OWLnet’s servers will be unable to handle the upcoming spring 2006 registration period, which begins Oct. 16.
“They’re going to make everyone register through OWLnet, and trying to register through OWLnet is ridiculous,” said senior Paul Finn. “I’ve registered on DiamondLine the past three semesters.”
But, for some students, the DiamondLine was more than just a backup. The phone service was the only option for those without easy Internet access.
“Last semester I didn’t have the Internet so I used DiamondLine to register,” said senior Sara Allen. “A lot of people don’t have Internet or any other way of getting on the Internet, especially if they don’t live near campus.”
Computer Services is confident that OWLnet will be able to handle registration without help from DiamondLine. According to Dolhansky, Computer Services upgraded OWLnet’s infrastructure and added 200 additional lines over the summer. They plan to upgrade its two servers in the coming months.
“We feel that OWLnet should be able to handle the load,” said Dolhansky. “We don’t anticipate any problems.”
Lindsey Walker can be reached at email@example.com.