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Out with the old, in with the new: USG looking to update BuckeyeLink

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Thanks to a USG initiative, Buckeyelink’s webpage may soon be getting a new look. Credit: Casey Smith | LTV Sports Producer

BuckeyeLink — the one-stop shop tool given to students where they can take care of business, including paying tuition or scheduling classes — might get a fresh look thanks to the Undergraduate Student Government’s remodeling initiative.

Jahari Henry, a first-year in public management, leadership and policy, said the program that every Ohio State student and faculty member uses daily is “antiquated, outdated and just very hard to use.”

Henry, a committee member on the USG academic affairs board, said he noticed the issue when he struggled to navigate BuckeyeLink after getting accepted into Ohio State in 2022.

“Being a first-year student coming in, you have to use BuckeyeLink to access everything at Ohio State, and there were a lot of problems for me personally using BuckeyeLink,” Henry said. “When you finally get accepted, just even figuring out how to enroll properly is a struggle.”

Tiffany Hsich, director of academic affairs for USG, said the program’s confusing layout makes it hard for students to perform basic tasks essential to enrollment at Ohio State.

“It’s almost a deterrent for enrolling at OSU,” Hsich said.

Ronald Yang, one of the deputy directors of academic affairs for USG and third-year in economics and international relations, said he compiled a document comparing BuckeyeLink to other schools’ student system databases.

“I’ve looked through so many websites: NYU, Michigan State, Penn State and most of them have a better, clearer website for their students that’s more appealing,” Yang said.

Hsich said feedback is the most essential part of the BuckeyeLink revamp because it helps pinpoint the major issues students experience with the program.

“We made a survey where we had certain features of BuckeyeLink we thought were important for students to know how to use. We wanted to see how well students know how to use the resources on BuckeyeLink,” Hsich said.

Hsich said responses to the survey so far have revealed students find the layout of the website confusing and the appearance of the website unappealing.

Hsich said USG has gotten over 50 responses in under a week rating Buckeyelink 2/5 stars for overall satisfaction.

​​“We brought the summary of the responses to Dean Norman Jones of the Office of Undergraduate Education,” Hsich said. “Administrators agree, they just didn’t know the student perspective of it, so they found it really helpful to see the concise summary of what students thought about it.”

It is unclear when these changes will be implemented and available to students, as USG is still in the process of working with administration.

Henry said he hopes BuckeyeLink evolves to better serve the needs of the students, faculty and staff that use it.

​​“The update is important because as the university progresses, as more people come through and as the nature of the university servers changes, I think the tool that people need to use to access it needs to change with it, and it hasn’t,” Henry said.

University spokesperson Chris booker said in an email the university routinely looks to improve Buckeyelink.

“The university routinely works with students to improve the user experience and update our systems to be more secure, responsive and beneficial to the needs of the campus community,” Booker said.

This story was updated at 1:39 p.m. Friday to correct the spelling of Tiffany Hsich’s name and again at 6:24 p.m. to include university comment.

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