Banner software enters new phase

Hobie Brown

A new era at Missouri Southern is officially underway with the opening of Lionet, the new Banner system.

Lionet is meant to aid in streamlining the registration process and to help provide easier access to all Southern accounts, such as financial aid, e-mail, and Blackboard.

“Everything is going well,” said Sandy Gieson, Banner project manager. “It has been a positive experience. Got a lot of positive feedback from the faculty and students.”

According to Cheryl Dobson, registrar, the system is running smoothly.

“So far everything has been working well,” she said. “It started last Friday with special registration and the seniors began Monday. They should be able to work the system out.”

LioNet, which will replace several programs, such as Lion Link and the mainframe portal, was brought about because of a need.

“I’ve been here since 1990, and the mainframe portal has been around long before that,” Dobson said. “It was outdated and we simply outgrew it.”

Though the students will only have access to LioNet, faculty and staff have access to one of two portals, LioNet or Internet Native Banner Portal.

“Both are easy to navigate,” Dobson said. “Only limited staff has access to the native portal. Once they get in and use it, they’ll see that it’s easy.”

The limited staff included deans, department heads, the secretaries, and administration personnel.

“Your role at the University identifies what sections you are able to access,” Dobson said.

Whether you are a student or a faculty/staff member, the banner program does deliver a unique challenge to its users.

“People have to get use to it,” Dobson said. “That’s the biggest hurdle. Those who have used it have been pleased.”

During the initial training for some faculty and students, the biggest hurdle faced was logging onto the system.

“During the training process, many people who used the system didn’t even need the instructions,” Dobson said.

Do not fear, because upgrades to the LioNet are on the way.

“Right now we are in phase one,” said Kelly Wilson, Director of the Student Support Center.” By the time we get to the fall, we should have all of the components installed.”

The new software has been running fairly smooth since it’s start up on April 2.

“There have been a few small technicalities that you don’t see until you get going in the system,” Wilson said. “Otherwise, everything has been fine.”

Currently registration for fall classes is underway, and with the new software, one can expect changes in the process.

“A change to class registration is that there no longer will be line numbers, but rather reference numbers,” Dobson said.

For some students, the banner experience has been tolerable, while some have had issues in getting registered for classes.

“I’ve already been through three different pins trying to get enrolled,” said Kristin Lacy, sophomore English major.

“I haven’t had any problems,” said Cheryl Lawson, senior computer information sciences major. “The only issue I have with it is the e-mail doesn’t work yet.”

Then there are those students who have already been immersed in the world of banner.

“I transferred from a school that has it,” sophomore Joy Lefferts, English major said. “I have no problems with it.”

For those who are seniors, enrollment began Monday, April 9th. Enrollment began for juniors yesterday, and sophomores can begin registering for classes on Monday, April 16. Freshman will be allowed to enroll starting April 19th. As part of the new LioNet program, new identification cards are being distributed in the Lions Den from 11 am to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday through the month of April.