RMU students discuss new Banner scheduling software


Banner. It is the last name of the scientist who accidentally turned himself into the Hulk. It is also an object that can be waved around as a pennant. But over the past couple of months, students at Robert Morris University have come to associate the word “banner”.

Last semester, Robert Morris University switched over to using Banner Self-Services as a class scheduling software for students to keep track of their checksheets (collegian career class planner). This was in replacement of the classic Sentry Secured Services which had served the university for years. The fall 2021 semester is the first semester in which Banner has been used.

The adjustment period has been troublesome for students, professors, and academic advisors alike. The familiarity with Sentry, inability to access things on a mobile app, and lack of understanding of how the new program works are what many students claim to struggle with.

“I am fine with using a new system. However, as a senior who has to take very specific courses, and my advisors not knowing how to use Banner, all while the website crashes consistently, made this very frustrated in using it,” said senior psychology major and criminal justice minor Aislin Motter McCombs.

“A lot of people that I have talked to have had the same issue as me in that it is automatically set on Spring 2022 so it shows that you are not registered for any classes,” said senior psychology major Michaela Davis. “(It) was stressful until I realized it was not for this semester.”

Last year, the information given to students regarding Banner was primarily done via email. In a series of emails to sent to students, members of the university encouraged students to learn how to use Banner providing resources from the RMU’s Information Technology (IT) department.

“You will want to read through both ‘How to Register’ and ‘Planning to Register’ guides. If you are a visual learner, feel free to watch YouTube Banner 9 walkthroughs from other institutions as well,” stated the email.

Despite the IT department’s statement and resources available on Sentry Secured Services, many students did not take the time to review the information and have found themselves lost this semester. Incoming freshman and transfer students are a whole different ballgame.

“I didn’t even know we had those things (IT resources). Oops, that is on me then,” said Davis.

One thing that has been confusing for many students is having to still use Sentry Secured Services to find classes to register in the first place. Instead of switching entirely over to Banner, there are still some elements that have to be done in Sentry before switching over.

“I feel like it is convenient that everything is all together now,” junior psychology major Molly Benney. “I feel like I do have a slight preference to Banner now though.”

Adjustments will be made over time for students and professors alike in the new Banner system. But due to COVID-19 still lingering, some students will continue to have a tough time adjusting to the new Banner system.