A UCF Marketing senior and self-described innovator and disrupter, Arnold made national headlines recently after being punished by the University for developing a registration enhancement web service called “U Could Finish.”
U Could Finish worked by checking the university’s online portal -myUCF – for free seats, up to every 60 seconds, to help students find open spots for course registration, and then immediately notifying students via text when a spot in their desired class was available. Arnold launced the service on Facebook on June 2, for a cost of $0.99, and within six days had 500 users – and was promptly shut down by UCF with charges, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, that Arnold’s service disrupted normal technology use, and violated a policy that barred students from profiting with university tools.
Arnold created a presentation in defense of his registration aid, but was nevertheless disciplined by UCF and placed on three semesters of academic probation, ordered to write a six page research paper on why maintaining a system like myUCF is difficult and required to take a one hour coaching session on how to make good decisions.
UCF retroactively made their own good decision to improve their website with features similar to the ones Arnold employed (click on image below for CNN story). Arnold is a former FIRST robotics team member, who credits the program for shaping him and building his tech interests.
“I hope my story inspires others to think innovatively and (know) that they can make a difference even as one person,” says Arnold. “I also wish to show how critical communication is, and how the situation could have been handled better by both parties.”