GUSA to Shift Website Platform
Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 02:11
The Georgetown University Student Association website is currently offline while the organization transfers its site to a more user-friendly platform.
Previously, GUSA’s website, GUStudentAssociation.com, was published on Drupal, a content-management platform. The new site will have a georgetown.edu URL and will be supported by Wordpress. According to GUSA President Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13), this will enable better integration of the student government into the campus community.
“The thought was that we would have some more institutional ability with a georgetown.edu website and just have all the documents stored at one place,” she said.
Gustafson said she anticipates that the change will result in a more efficient website with more storage capability.
“We don’t really need the functionalities of what Drupal could offer versus [the] Wordpress platform, so we decided to switch over, and also our storage would be here at Georgetown,” Gustafson said.
GUSA Senate Speaker Nate Tisa (SFS ’14) agreed with Gustafson.
“It will be a lot more accessible for students and easier for us to update,” Tisa said.
Currently, GUSA relies on social media and university emails to communicate with students, while the GUSA senate stores its meeting minutes at box.net, an online file sharing website. However, while the minutes are open to the public, few students are aware of the existence of that information.
Tisa said it is important to make GUSA senate records available through the official GUSA website so students can communicate openly and efficiently with their elected representatives.
“Transparency and engagement has been a huge priority this year, and the new site will take it to another level,” Tisa said.
According to Gustafson, the website transfer process has taken longer than expected because all georgetown.edu student organization websites are being re-evaluated to increase cohesiveness.
“I think it is a necessary thing to happen because the university had disconnected approaches to technology in the past, so I’m really happy that this re-evaluation ... is going on,” Gustafson said. “There has been a huge push in trying to have a cohesive approach to technology and website hosting. … I think we’re also part of that process,” Gustafson said.
According to GUSA Secretary of Information and Technology Michael Crouch (MSB ’13), the next step includes an evaluation of the proposed university-affiliated GUSA website by University Information Services.
“We are not doing too much right now besides waiting on administrators,” Crouch wrote in an email. “The issue is not just about the GUSA site, it’s about defining requirements for hosting any sort of site on the main Georgetown URL.”