All Curtin students and staff know about OASIS.
OASIS purportedly stands for “Online Access to Student Information Service” . Is that the best they could do, you ask? Evidentially, that full name is now such an embarrassment that it doesn’t seem to appear anywhere on the official OASIS website. However, I’m still not sure which is sillier – the full title, the abbreviation (a transparent backronym), or the slogan bestowed upon us when it first launched: “One site to rule them all”.
It’s bigger than Jesus!
The centrepiece of OASIS is the OCC (Official Communication Channel), through which students receive official correspondence from the University. Replacing physical mail with electronic mail is commendable, but OCC has two small drawbacks. One is that you can’t choose to receive OCC messages via email, or even to receive email notifications. You must remember to log in to OASIS. The other is best illustrated in the following pie chart, representing all the messages (now archived) I’ve received:
In the past 27 months, I’ve received 21 useful messages: about 0.18 per week. I realise that at some level the University is obliged to send me the other messages as well, but that’s not the point. Logging into OASIS isn’t hard, but you quickly forget because it’s usually such a fruitless exercise. According to the official policy, one “performance indicator” for the OCC is: “The percentage of students with active OASIS accounts that access their official correspondence at least once per week.” They’re not advertising this metric, of course.
It’s not until a library book is recalled (whether you’re the original borrower or the recaller) that you appreciate the true splendour of the OCC. I simply didn’t know about mine until after fines had already started accumulating, and the person who’d recalled the book probably wasn’t too happy about it either. With email, I’d have returned the book the same day.
Not to be entirely defeated, however, I created a script on my laptop that automatically logs into OASIS for me at 11:30 am each day and forwards all new OCC messages to my email account. The Curtin bureaucracy hasn’t quite mastered that idea yet.