Students, faculty sound off on MFA roll-out

IT implemented multi-factor authentication for all students, staff and faculty back in October.

Larry Emmons, the director of technology and support services, said roll-out went smoothly.

“We had some hurdles during the initial roll-out to staff that we had to work out, but that helped us streamline the process for faculty and students,” he said. “We expected many more students to have issues than have reported so far.”

Emmons said that despite frustrations with MFA, the campus community is coming around to it.

“For the most part, the users have understood why MFA is needed and have accepted it as part of the reality of using the internet,” he said.

Fenobia Dallas, a professor of rhetoric and professional writing, said she struggled with responding to the verification text.

“The expectation is you type in the code (that you receive) and your pin,” she said. “There was a discrepancy with the instructions.”

She explained that the wording of the text message was confusing and led her to respond in a way the system would not accept.

“(I wish there would’ve been) a one-page fact sheet sent out to explain why and how,” she said. “I consider myself a techie, and I was confused. MFA is a problem because no one knows why we’re using it.”

Rachel Pfleghaar, a professional and technical writing junior, said she was still getting used to the new system.

“I find MFA to be really tedious and hard to use, especially as I try to keep my phone away from myself while studying,” she said. “I wish there was a different way to prove that I am who I say I am without having to use my phone, as it really distracts me from what I want to get done.”

She was also uncertain about the text verification system.

“I think that if someone really wanted to get into my SVSU account and had my phone, they would easily be able to determine my pin, as I don’t delete my messages,” she said.

Keara Andrejewski, another professional and technical writing junior, agreed that MFA was distracting and time-consuming.

“I don’t know why all of a sudden they pushed this on us, but it’s a waste of time,” she said. “Sometimes, I am in a hurry to get work done, and it wastes time to go find my phone so I can text back the pin numbers and wait for mySVSU to load.”

In the next three to 12 months, IT will move to an “MFA all the time” model.

Students, staff and faculty will be required to use MFA both on- and off-campus.

Further communications will come as the next segment of roll-out approaches.

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