Pre-HoyaLink Site to Shut Down
Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 11:12
HoyaLink will fully replace Explore websites as Georgetown’s online communication forum for student groups when the old service is taken down Friday, which has drawn criticism from some student groups that valued the functionality of the old site.
Co-chair of Hoya Outreach Programs and Education Ivana Robinson (MSB ’13) uses HoyaLink frequently with HOPE and said that removing Explore websites on Dec. 7 is premature.
“I think [removing Explore] will affect HOPE somewhat just because we do have a website that is a huge thing that we use, especially when it comes to giving people information about our different programs,” she said. “I think right now it is needed in addition to HoyaLink just because I don’t think HoyaLink is as informative or user-friendly as we would like it to be. Not to mention the fact that not every student is cued into HoyaLink, especially the upperclassmen, but they do know about the Explore website and how to use that. It’s a little early to be making the full transition.”
Center for Student Programs Director Erika Cohen Derr stressed that the old platform, which has been in use since 2004, lacks the full functionality that HoyaLink offers.
“The Explore website system … is being taken down because it is very outdated and does not offer functionality commonly expected of website platforms today, [such as] direct interface with Facebook, Twitter, Google Calendar or other commonly used web tools,” she wrote in an email.
She also justified the removal of the older site on the basis that having two platforms in operation has been confusing and distracting to some users.
“Right now, many student organization websites on Explore have not been updated in over a year, so we hope that by taking it down, it will cease to distract from people searching for current student organization websites on Hoyalink,” she said.
To encourage students to switch to HoyaLink, CSP launched 12 Days of HoyaLink Nov. 26 and is giving out one $10 gift card every day to a student who logs into HoyaLink between that day and Dec. 7. CSP will also reward three student groups that use HoyaLink most frequently with a $50 deposit that can be used toward a study or social event.
“We really wanted to focus on our active HoyaLink users as well as try to get people to sort of log in,” said CSP marketing and programming assistant and HoyaLink Ambassador John Alatis (COL ’13). “We wanted to be very strategic of when we held the event. This is the time of the semester where student organizations are registering for next semester; a lot of applications are still out and on HoyaLink, so people are logging in frequently, so this is a good time to actually target them.”
Since HoyaLink’s launch last January, more than 8,000 individuals have logged in and nearly 4,700 have joined at least one group on HoyaLink, according to Cohen Derr.
“Our main goal for the 12 Days of Hoyalink is to provide students with incentives to log in and get more familiar with the system, which is the primary communication platform available to student organizations,” Cohen Derr wrote in an email. “We hope that when students log in, they might see an event of interest, or look at some of the organization pages — maybe join a new group.”
Unlike HOPE, the Advisory Board for Club Sports has completely transitioned to HoyaLink and has not updated its Explore website this semester, according to ABCS Webmaster Marcella Kelley (COL ’15).
“[Hoyalink has] been much more convenient,” Kelley said. “I think that HoyaLink … will have a lot of improvements and a lot of changes in it, but I think right now it is so necessary, and it’s kind of crazy they didn’t have anything like it before ... I definitely think groups should be using it because it is such an easy way to get people to know what is going on.”