IMPERIAL — Due to the ransomware attack at Imperial Valley College, several student services have been inaccessible. With the fall semester slated to start Monday, August 17, students and faculty have struggled to access services and communicate with each other regarding first-day expectations.

IVC sent an email to its students Thursday, August 13, regarding the push-back of the first day due to the inability to access student services. It was stated Canvas, the college’s app, was not recovered and fully functional in time for the upcoming semester and all fully online classes are postponed until Monday, August 24.

The email states face-to-face or hybrid classes will proceed as previously scheduled.

According to the email, Webstar was restored and almost fully functional. Students can use Webstar to register and faculty can access rosters and post grades. However, students cannot pay fees with the credit cards through Webstar.

Summer grades with Webstar are almost fully functional, faculty have started gradually submitting summer grades. Students were asked to be patient with the faculty as they submit grades.

With systems down, IVC acknowledged the confusion and frustration among students. Students were asked to communicate with their instructors to verify enrollment in their registered classes.

An email was sent to students regarding financial aid, anticipating payments to be made on or before Thursday, August 20.

To address concerns with textbooks, IVC’s email informed students to contact the Student Equity and Achievement Program.

Zoom Rooms were established and shared with students to help with questions and concerns regarding system issues and the possibility of a delayed start.

Laura Agüero is enrolled at IVC for the fall semester and planned on starting her last semester before transferring. However, due to the ransomware attack she has some concerns.

Agüero said having access to certain services is a necessity to start the upcoming semester.

“We also need to know what is going on with financial aid payments and work study opportunities that were offered to students,” Agüero said.

Several students turned to an IVC Facebook group to post their concerns and communicate with their peers. Posts included questions about the ransomware attack, including the possibility of private information being accessed by an outside or unauthorized source.

“I just want IVC to be transparent with us. If they need to push back the start date, that’s fine. But I want them to be honest about what is going on with the system and if our private information is at risk,” said Agüero.

IVC Superintendent and President Dr. Martha Garcia said, “We appreciate the patience of our students, faculty, staff, and the community as our experts work through this incident. Once the investigation is complete and all the facts are collected, we will be providing an update to the students, campus, and the community."

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