CUNY Login promised to make our lives easier, but it hasn't

How do you access your school information online? It’s simple. For class assignments, just go to the CUNY Portal website. Enter your username, password and log in. You will be redirected to the Citizen CUNY website, in which you’ll click to open Blackboard and enter a different username and password on the CUNY Login website.

To add classes, you’ll have to go to the CUNYfirst website, log in with your credentials and you may arrive at another login page, with the title Oracle on top. Don’t try to log in with Oracle, because it won’t recognize your information. Just go back a page, log in again on the CUNYfirst login page, and now you’ll find yourself on the CUNY Login website. Just one more login, and an error page will occasionally pop up. Finally, a click on the student center option will have you ready to sign up for classes. It’s all a bit much.

Almost a year and a half ago, in June 2017, Baruch College announced the introduction of CUNY Login into the online process as a way of streamlining the login process to CUNYfirst, Blackboard, DegreeWorks and other important services. An email from Arthur Downing, vice president for information services at Baruch, promised, “Once fully realized, this upgrade will mean fewer usernames and passwords to remember.”

If it is, indeed, fully realized, the service has not done what it was intended to do. If Baruch is still waiting for an update to the service, it’s time to move forward or get rid of the site altogether. CUNY Login has only complicated matters.

When reached for comment, Downing responded, “The University is moving toward using the CUNY Login as the authentication method for all CUNY systems. So, yes, there are plans to build and improve the process,” but did not offer what the timeline was. When questioned further, he stated, “I am not aware of a formal project plan or timeline from the University, but I know that it is one of their priorities.”

Seventeen months after the initial announcement of CUNY Login, accessing online class information has not gotten easier. CUNY should either progress the implementation of CUNY Login or it should remove the site from being part of the login process. Even though CUNY Login does make staying signed in easier — sessions last longer, and a closed window will not preclude students from getting back to what they were doing with relative ease — the minor benefits are not enough for the extra stages of inconvenience.