Princeton needs a software update

Let’s face it: Princeton’s technology systems seem very outdated. From laborious two-factor authentication to complicated meal redemption and appointment booking systems, many of Princeton’s digital programs are cumbersome, time-consuming and daunting. Here are some of the technology updates the University should consider.

Make meal swaps more convenient

Meal swaps are notoriously difficult to coordinate: you have to find the meal swap website, log in, find the last name (last name only) of the person you want to swap the meal with, send them an invitation to exchange of meals, then finally go to the dining room/club to eat. With the generalization of smartphones, why not adopt a system based on a QR code integrated into an application? All students would have to do is search for a name and the app would generate a QR code for the meal swap recipient that the dining hall/club could scan.

By facilitating the process of coordinating meal swaps, students from different dining clubs and grade years would be encouraged to interact more with each other. Dining clubs, by their very nature, already perpetuate divided social environments, while dining hall plans allow enrolled students to eat in one of four undergraduate dining halls. Making meal exchanges simpler would increase social interactions between groups and foster a more inclusive social environment rather than one characterized by group divisions.

Create a UHS app

The only way to make an appointment for health-related services is to call McCosh University Health Services. The problem is that the office is only open eight hours a day on average. The MyUHS site should be made accessible via an application allowing students to make appointments 24/7. Students should be able to see what appointment slots are available and if a suitable doctor will be on duty at the time of the scheduled appointment. Having a nurse available 24/7 will allow students to virtually communicate with nurses when they are unsure about going to the infirmary.

This online appointment scheduling system for UHS could have a function similar to the current WASE (Web Appointment Scheduling Engine) system used by Princeton, which will be replaced by Microsoft Bookings between July and August 2022. WASE and Microsoft Bookings are the go-to resources for booking appointments at Princeton and it would make sense for the University to expand this to include UHS appointments.

Touch/Face ID compatibility

Gone are the days of lengthy passwords and cumbersome authentication systems. Many electronic devices and apps now have alternative login methods, including Touch ID and facial recognition. With the tap of a finger or a glance at the camera, we can unlock our devices, authorize credit card purchases, buy an app from the App Store, or log into our accounts. favorite social media. Princeton is expected to integrate these technological advances into Canvas, Central Authentication Systems (CAS), and other university-affiliated websites that require login credentials. TigerHub is expected to be made accessible on mobile devices and include facial recognition and Touch ID login. Touch/face authentication could also be an option to unlock dorm doors to avoid lockdowns. However, this would require significant funds to replace the current locking system.

Alternative forms of authentication such as touch/face IDs have proven to be effective and impervious to fraud. In fact, Apple complaints that there’s a 1 in 50,000 chance that someone else’s fingerprint will mistakenly unlock your iPhone and a 1 in 1,000,000 chance that someone else’s face will. It could be said that touch/face IDs can even be more secure than traditional authentication systems such as Duo Mobile. For example, if a thief had access to an unlocked mobile device, they could easily open Duo Mobile and authenticate a connection themselves. With Touch/Face ID, the thief would not be able to log into an account without having the owner’s fingerprint/face, even with an unlocked device.

Simply put, Princeton needs a software update. The University should embrace new technology systems that make Princeton’s digital programs more accessible than ever. These technologies are already widely available and quite common in our daily lives. It’s time for Princeton to adopt them as well.

Prince Takano is a sophomore from Los Angeles, California, majoring in politics. He can be contacted by email at [email protected].

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