Himes Hall Backup

LSU students wait in a line that stretches to the Quad to enter the LSU Testing Center in Himes Hall on Sept. 19.

Himes Testing Center turned away students waiting to check in and begin taking tests on Monday morning due to a technical difficulty.

The testing center was operating again before noon on Monday and updated students via Twitter. It advised students who were scheduled to take exams during that period to return to the testing center later that day, and it extended the testing window to accommodate late or missed exams.

Sociology freshman Sydni Lewis was at Himes Testing Center to take a math test when the testing center shut down.

“They told us that the computers were down and that nobody’s tests were loading,” Lewis said. “They said we could come back in 30 minutes or whenever we had time.”

Accounting freshman Ruby Noel was in line to take a test Monday when she was told the system was down.

“I feel like Himes has had a lot of problems this year, and they need to work on that,” Noel said.

LSU Testing and Evaluation Services Operations Manager Sandra Guillot said a technical difficulty with the server and program was the cause of Monday’s shutdown. She was pleased with how the situation was handled.

“I think we reacted quickly and had our solutions in place, and it all worked throughout the day,” Guillot said.

She said the testing center is working to prevent incidents similar to what happened on Monday by working the “technical bugs” out of the system.

Guillot said a situation like Monday’s has not happened often in the last few years, but has occurred more frequently this semester.

This is the second problem that the testing center has encountered this semester.

On Sept. 20, the testing center shut down due to an overflow of test takers and a fire alarm.

There were originally 3,500 students scheduled to take a test that day, with the testing center checking in about 330 students an hour. According to David O’Brien, director of testing and evaluation services at the Center for Academic Success, this was a significantly higher number of students than usual.

The line grew throughout the day. Many students waited in line for almost an hour to take their tests.

Theatre sophomore Camille Lanata showed up to the testing center early that day without knowing about the line, but said she was glad she did.

Lanata waited for about 35 minutes to take her test. “I didn’t know Himes was backed up, but I got there early anyway so I could study a bit before,” Lanata said. “My exam was at 2 p.m. I got in line at 1:15 p.m. and didn’t start my exam until 1:50 p.m.”

Later that day, Himes Testing Center addressed the situation on Twitter and said a fire alarm also went off, which added to the delays.

The fire alarm went off at 3:56 p.m. due to a minor issue in the error handling room on the third floor, according to O’Brien.

The testing center contacted instructors after the fire alarm and suggested that testing windows be extended. Many instructors extended their classes’ testing windows to Monday.

O’Brien said the testing center plans to work with faculty members to create a more spaced out plan for future testing windows to avoid another situation like what happened on Sept. 20.

Natural resource and ecology freshman Lauren Cavnar said she doesn’t want to wait an hour in line to take a test in Himes Testing Center.

“After hearing about the previous events that happened in Himes, it makes me nervous about scheduling a test, “especially on the popular days,” Cavnar said.

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