New UISG website to promote what student government does

BY ADAM SALAZAR | JULY 21, 2009 7:15 AM

Some on campus may doubt the power and weight of the UI Student Government on campus and in the community. The No. 1 complaint, said President Mike Currie, is that “we don’t do anything.”

That’s why Currie and UISG technology director Ryan Kopf are using the social networks, a website, and recently a transition blog to emphasize the group’s identity and role.

“It is a clearinghouse of information about student government,” Currie said. “[It’s] to help with our goal of transparency and being more visible.”

Some universities’ student-government members also keep blogs about their organization. At the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, the president of the Student Government Association kept a blog — last updated in December 2008 — on which students can post comments. The Northwestern University student president’s webpage, splashed with lilac and purple hues, was updated three days ago.

Although the UISG transition blog is bare, it is a temporary fix while members develop a website that will feature applications that were not available on the previous one.

Currie said that in the past, there was not a position to manage the website’s upkeep. Kopf, the new web designer, is planning to take the website to another level.

Other features will include video podcasts from Currie, in which he will talk about what the organization is working on, videotaped versions of future legislative sessions, and postings of minutes and agendas.

The website will also provide an itemized list of the functions and powers of the UISG.

“[It is] giving more students a chance to provide us with meaningful feedback and new ideas,” Kopf said.

Currie and Kopf said UISG members had been mulling over the possibility of a modified website for quite some time. But it was difficult finding someone interested in the task, they said.

While the website is designed to be modified from time to time, UISG hopes to have the majority of its information by the end of next month before the academic year begins.

Access to the website presents another issue. UI sophomore Jenny Nirschl said she wouldn’t visit the website unless the link was posted on a UI site.

The website isn’t the only avenue the UISG will take to reach out to students. UISG senator and senior Sarah Raaii said that aside from expanding social networking and technology, the group is proposing more community and volunteer events.

“We have the audience, but we need to get the message on sites,” she said.

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