In Response to UC, HUIT Clarifies HarvardKey Deadline

After the Undergraduate Council called on Harvard University Information Technology to extend a deadline for switching to HarvardKey, the University’s new online authentication system, HUIT clarified Monday that College students have until June 1, not April 20, to register.

During their Sunday general meeting, the UC voted 20-16 to send a letter to HUIT asking the department to extend the deadline for College students to register for HarvardKey. In the letter, written by the Council’s Education Committee, the UC objected to the deadline, which they claimed was April 20.

HUIT and HarvardKey
Students work in the HUIT Walk-in Help Center in the Science Center basement as a notice about the HarvardKey authentication system flashes onscreen.

In a reply to the UC, HUIT Chief Technology Officer Jason Snyder wrote that the deadline for College students to register for HarvardKey is June 1, not April 20 as the UC had claimed.

The College’s faculty and staff, but not students, have until April 20 to register, according to Snyder. Snyder added that some College students who are also employees may have mistakenly received a notification via email last week that mentioned an April 20 deadline.

“We apologize for any confusion our communications to the Harvard community may have caused,” Snyder wrote in the email.

After the June 1 deadline, students who do not transition to HarvardKey will not be able to log in to some online services, including Microsoft Office 365, according to the HUIT website.

Several UC representatives raised concerns Sunday over the legislation, arguing that the Education Committee should have reached out to HUIT first before formally calling upon the department to extend the HarvardKey deadline.

The UC offered to help HUIT publicize the upcoming HarvardKey deadline. In his email to the UC, Snyder wrote that HUIT would be willing to work with the UC on “ways to better communicate and publicize activity impacting students.”

UC Cabot House Representative Christopher B. Cruz ’17, who sponsored the legislation, said he still supported the measure even though the UC was mistaken on the deadline.

“I understand that there was a fairly contentious debate last night, and that a lot of individuals feel this wasn’t the right measure to take,” he said. “But considering the deadline we believed we were facing, I think this was the right move.”

Former UC Parliamentarian Jacob R. Steinberg-Otter ’16 said that, though he was glad the UC tried to respond quickly to the issue, he wished the Council had taken more time to consider the proposal before passing legislation.

“I think this represented an incident in which the UC went too far in one direction,” Steinberg-Otter said.

HUIT plans to send an email to students Tuesday clarifying the June 1 deadline, according to Snyder.

—Staff writer Brian P. Yu can be reached at brian.yu@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @brianyu28.

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