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38 Stearns Boys to Pilot Online Sign-In Starting Monday

Stearns residents are the guinea pigs for a three-week trial of a long anticipated improvement: online sign-in. Starting Monday, residents of Stearns will begin to test out the new system. Student Council President Tantum Collins ’08 and Frank Pinto ’08 are largely responsible for the implementation of the online sign-in pilot. Pinto designed and wrote the online sign-in program this past summer, communicating extensively with Valerie Roman, Director of Technology, and Marlys Edwards, Dean of Students and Residential Life, throughout the process. Stearns residents will be able to sign in at 8:00 p.m. from the library and PACC desktops. They will be sent a link to Pinto’s website, where they can login using their PAnet username and a password of their choosing. Pinto said, “Every computer has a unique MAC address that cannot be changed. My program takes advantage of that and matches each computer’s unique number to the location it is in.” The time and location of any login to the site is automatically recorded to a database that administrators, namely house counselors, can access. Collins first had the idea of online sign-in as a Junior. Since then, the project has endured many setbacks, primarily the huge technological burden online sign-in would impose on the school. However, with cooperation, online sign-in is taking a step forward. After the three-week trial, Stearns House Counselors, Dan Schneider, Instructor in Math, Thomas Kane, Instructor in English and Matt Hession, Instructor in History, plan to meet and discuss their thoughts about the system. Alexander Du ’10, a Stearns resident, said, “I’m pumped. [Online sign-in will be] more convenient and it’s a comfort.” If all goes as planned, online sign-in will eventually be incorporated with the one-card key system. Collins views this trial run as a “stepping stone” for student sign-in via laptops, with scanners in places like Gelb and the library, similar to those currently in the Polk-Lillard Center and the PACC, to automatically record a student’s location during sign-in hours. Kane said, “[The Stearns house counselors are] excited to see [online sign-in] in operation and are cautiously optimistic. I hope our kids find it beneficial, but if they don’t we’ll also have learned quite a bit.”