Co-Editor-In-Chief, Chris Frazier. Photo by Campus Echo.

EDITORIAL: Behind the curtains

January 26, 2024

When Campus Echo returned to N.C. Central University this spring, we prioritized updating news on the cyberintrusion.

Campus Echo knew our campus made leaps and bounds since our last story before the break and that there were updates on what was up and running.

While faculty and stafff were still waiting for Eagle’s Purch to online, students were still complaining that Degree Works, Eagles-Guest, and, most important, their fall flex dollars.

Chris Frazier

With no additional information on the applications (other than to expect their return in the spring), and with Eagles-Guest continually being approved by Information Technology Services, the Echo’s focus went to the flex dollar issue that were lost in the cyberintrusion. Would they be returned?

To get additional information, on Jan. 10, the Echo began emailing the Eagle Card Services Manager in Campus Enterprises. We inquired about the status of lost flex dollars.

We knew that flex rollovers are never done, but considering the circumstances, it’s easy to wonder if there would be an exception.

After a couple days, there was no response, so the Echo looked elsewhere.  The Echo emailed an official from ITS, and they said they couldn’t speak on the matter but forwarded my message to Eagle Card Services.

We also called an individual who worked in the Eagle card room in the Lee Biology  Building, but when the Echo asked about fall flex, they said they couldn’t speak on that either.

While on the call, they gave the Echo the number of an individual who could. And this ended up being the original manager we emailed on the January 10.

After thanking them for their help, the Echo called the manager, but he never picked up. We left a voicemail and proceeded to email him three more times, with the Echo’s last email being sent on Jan 23, two days before we published the update.

When there was no response on Thursday, the Echo continued with the story. We reached out for student reactions to the flex dollars, Wi-Fi and Degree Works issues.  We interviewed faculty about problems faced by not having Eagle’s Purch.

The Echo added that we have reached out to Eagle Card Services for comment and by Jan. 25, at 11:35 a.m. the update was published on the Campus Echo Online.

Around 12:50 p.m., the Echo discovered an increase of flex dollars in the GrubHub app. In Get Mobile, an app that shows the students’ transactions, we saw that the flex dollars reached my account at 11:44 a.m., nine minutes after we published the update.

Perhaps this was merely coincidental? Perhaps not?  The Echo reached out to the same manager for more details, and as of this publishing, he has not reseponded to our email.

Campus Enterprises confirmed their transaction via email at 2:54 p.m., over three hours after students received their refunds.

Witnessing the entire situation was a bittersweet moment. While we were happy to see my colleagues rightfully get their flex dollars it was frustrating that the Eagle Card Services Manager didn’t communicate with the Campus Echo on the matter.

One wonder’s why repeated efforts to interview the Eagle Card Services Manager were ignored throughout January. In every email, phone call, and voicemail, we identified ourselves as a reporter and editor of the Campus Echo. All this, only to discover that the refund would be issued on Jan. 25.

The flex dollar fix involved consists thousands of accounts and hundreds of dollars in each account. It’s likely that Campus Enterprise worked on the refunds for weeks and the transaction occurred on an unlucky day.

If they were working on the refunds, why not say so in the emails? Why not respond with “we’re working on it?” Anything information the Campus Echo could have provided to students would’ve helped clarify the situation. But instead of providing some reassurance to the student-body, they let the Campus Echo in the dark.

The Campus Echo is disappointed that Campus Enterprises and Eagle Card Services were unwilling to communicate to the NCCU student newspaper.

 

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Co-Editor-In-Chief, Chris Frazier. Photo by Campus Echo.
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