NEWS

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October 5, 2010

Redesign adds practical features to SG website

As Student Government (SG) prepares to launch UAchieve—a website with the goal of highlighting student achievements and advertising student opportunities—it is looking larger and more robust than it has in years.

SG has added new technical positions, updated its website, and created teams of student volunteers in a series of SG expansions implemented for this quarter, all part of an effort to increase transparency and improve student life.

The updated website aligns with SG’s goal of extended outreach, according to second-year Frank Alarcon, the undergraduate liaison to the Board of Trustees.

“The reason we’re focusing on our websites is we’re taking communication very seriously,” Alarcon said. He believes the updated website will allow for more SG transparency and highlight important information like events and program announcements.

Third-year Teng Bao and first-year Corey Rateau have filled the positions of Lead Web and Marketing Manager and Web Manager, respectively.

Bao has already revived complaints.uchicago.edu, a resource that allows students to lodge complaints or offer suggestions about campus policies,” Alarcon wrote in an e-mail.

SG asked Bao to assist in minor modifications of uchicagoapartments.com, a website that allows students to search for housing and includes information on legal issues and a renter’s guide.

Bao will also be responsible for launching UAchieve, an SG initiative aimed at promoting the good works of UChicago students. Though still in a developmental phase, the UAchieve website features separate categories for student opportunities and student achievements. UAchieve is set to launch early this quarter, though a specific date has not been set.

Rateau’s main responsibility as the Web manager includes transforming the now inactive UBazaar into a usable website for students, Alarcon said.

Additionally, the website will now feature voting records and the attendance of both College Council and Graduate Council members at SG meetings. The change, suggested by Alarcon last year, comes as part of an SG push toward accountability.

“Websites are not the only thing we’re doing,” Alarcon said. “Websites are only part of the equation.” The expansion of SG’s online presence follows the creations of new liaison positions and new initiatives like the SG van programs.

Fourth-year Allen Linton was chosen for the new position of Community and Government Liaison, created last March.

SG also plans to expand through a series of volunteer groups, called action teams. Those have been grouped into an events and outreach team, a discounts program team, and a UAchieve team.

The potential exists for the creation of more teams, specifically a technology-based group, according to Alarcon. “We hope to mobilize the action teams starting after this week,” Alarcon said. He expects the student body will see the effects of the groups this quarter.

Recruitment for the teams began in O-Week and informational sessions have been scheduled for this weekend. “We’re expecting a core group of people,” Alarcon said. He hopes for “15 to 30 regular members” to comprise each action team.

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