By Katie Weitkamp/Managing editor

Just before spring break campus mailboxes started filling with student and staff directories for the 2003-2004 school year.Student Government Association President Kristina O’Brien admitted they were a little late.

“There is more than one reason why the directory was out late this year,” she said. “The primary reason was … lack of technical skills within the volunteers that were working on it.”

She said one problem caused a two-month delay when information from the Banner system was not compatible with the publisher’s system.

“It needs to be converted into a particular format to be sent to the company that does the directories, then the company that does the directory, that company, which is University Directories, sends it to their printer that they have contracted,” O’Brien said.

She said without that technical delay, it would have been possible to get the directories out before Christmas break.

Matthew King, a senior police studies major, said he received his directory on Tuesday and is unsure if he will use it.

“I would have (used the directory) more if I got it earlier,” King said. He said though, he will probably use it because he has a hard time remembering phone numbers.

Steven Swann, an undeclared freshman, said he and his roommate think the directory is pointless with so little school left; he did say, though, he may need to use it once or twice.

O’Brien said SGA never thought about scrapping the project. She said it is important because SGA was able to involve departments on campus so services available for students were showcased without having to pay for advertising.

She said the directory does not cost SGA anything except the time it takes to put the directories together and deliver them. She said University Directories sells ads to pay for the printing.

O’Brien said she has heard from two of the advertisers because of the late publication.

“They were upset because they thought their ad would be in for the whole year,” she said. “But they were very understanding of our situation and offered to help us.”

Michael Lynks, owner of Adventure Pets, said he was upset with the delay and the quality of his ad.

“That’s a waste of $450,” Lynks said. “I wouldn’t have advertised if I was just going to get a couple months’ exposure with it.”

He said in addition to the short amount of time his ad will be seen, the content is wrong.

“We discussed what we wanted to do in the ad and the ad was pretty much what I said I didn’t want,” Lynks said.

O’Brien said she was upset with the delay, but that the same thing could happen again unless there are more students who are interested and involved with putting the directory together.

“I know it’s been an inconvenience to some people,” she said.

“In fact, because the original data that we had converted was pulled from Banner so early in the year that a lot of the incoming student information wasn’t included in it.

“Because the conversion took so long the first time we did not re-pull data and re-send it. Otherwise the directories wouldn’t have been useful this year,” O’Brien said.

Directories are free and can be picked up at the Powell information desk in the lobby.

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