GUSA Launches New Website
Published: Friday, January 18, 2013
Updated: Friday, January 18, 2013 02:01
The Georgetown University Student Association will launch a new website by the end of January, regaining an official online presence after three months without a website.
The site, gusa.georgetown.edu, which will be hosted on a WordPress server, will offer students a more integrated and easy-to-use domain than the former site, which was powered by content-management system Drupal. The change to a georgetown.edu URL will also be more cost effective and student friendly, according to GUSA Executive Director of Technology Strategy and IT Welles Robinson (COL ’14).
“We switched to WordPress because our previous content-management system was difficult for most people to understand and use and it was expensive to have someone else maintain and host the website,” Robinson said.
Throughout its time without an official website, GUSA continued to have an active online presence through Facebook, Twitter and email. Nevertheless, GUSA Vice President Vail Kohnert-Yount (SFS ’13) hopes that students will view the website as a one-stop shop for helpful resources and answers to questions about GUSA.
“The new website would be able to get across all that GUSA does,” Kohnert-Yount said. “There will be a resources section of the website, which will have everything from diversity to athletics to Campus Ministry.”
The GUSA Senate will also have its own section on the website, providing students with quicker access to public meeting notes.
“I’m really excited about the potential of putting Senate documents right on the website,” GUSA Senate Speaker Nate Tisa (SFS ’14) said. “It will make it easier for the student body to access our minutes and bills, which is crucial to furthering transparency and accountability.”
Kohnert-Yount worked with a team of GUSA members for several months and surveyed them about their opinions on the website’s design.
“We’re waiting on a few things — a lot of people are contributing to it — so it’s all a matter of populating the website and altering the template a little bit,” Kohnert-Yount said.
A preview of the upcoming website shows a user-friendly template with several drop-down menus across the top where students can click to learn more about the history of GUSA, the GUSA Senate, on-campus resources and more.
Each page also features a feedback section, which will facilitate interaction between the student body and GUSA.
“It will be a great way for us to solicit feedback from others,” Kohnert-Yount said. “We have a feedback form right there that people can use to offer comments or ideas.”
The greater focus on integration is a legacy that Kohnert-Yount said was central to her campaign platform with GUSA President Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13).
“One of the big questions people have is ‘What does GUSA do?’” Kohnert-Yount said. “I think the thing I’m most proud of that Clara and I have done is to reach out and communicate that, so that each student has at least one answer to that question.”
Tisaagreed that greater transparency between GUSA and the student body is crucial and said that the website will be the best way to reach that goal.
“The website will be easier to update and keep current, so future executives and the Senate can really utilize it as a tool ... [for] outreach and transparency,” Tisa said.