Scroll Top

Students find St. Olaf’s new information system, Oracle, unhelpful

Gabriela Perez_ Financial Aid Office 2

Photo by Gabriela Perez/The Olaf Messenger


In the fall 2023 semester, St. Olaf College transitioned from the previous timecard and employment software, the “Time Entry System” (TES), to the database management system and software company Oracle, which has risen in popularity in the last two years. In September 2023, Oracle was considered the most popular choice for data management by LinkedIn as many corporations and colleges have chosen to switch over. However, Oracle is a difficult software to manage, which students are unhappy with.


Student workers are having a hard time adjusting to the platform. For example, the “Save” button for work hours in Oracle is not clearly displayed; you need to access a separate button to access it. There is no automatic save, so if you don’t go through the full process, you will need to re-enter everything.


Samuel Meyer ’26, who currently holds two jobs in the Music Department, states that the interface can be confusing. “It is very complicated, case sensitive, and the format is not as well structured as TES,” he said in an interview with The Olaf Messenger. “You need to do the spacing right, and with TES you could work from top to bottom.” 


Meyer also had issues with submitting his timecard late on a Sunday, a time he was used to with TES. Due to this, Meyer’s pay got delayed by two weeks — an entire pay period. 


In an email sent campus-wide, Student Employment Specialist Ellen Mader wrote, “Due to the high volume of incoming student employment inquiries, please expect delays with ticketing response times.” 

“It wasn’t a smooth transition for the students,” Campus Visit and Office Coordinator Mikayla Brenna said in an interview with The Olaf Messenger. 


The College’s transition has been viewed as a hasty rush that left out student input by the campus community. Oracle’s complexities range from worker usage to political ideologies, the transition to the new system has been brought into question by many students. A petition has been circulating among St. Olaf students on Instagram protesting Oracle’s allyship with Israel.

Ron Soto-Solari
+ posts