UISG to fund student websites


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Student organizations across the University of Iowa can continue moving into the technological age with assistance from the UI Student Government, IMU Marketing and Design, and the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership. The UISG voted on Tuesday to approve long-term funding for recognized student organizations’ websites, a project that has been in the works for more than two years. Several current members of UISG had campaigned with this project in mind.

At the meeting, UISG Chief Financial Officer Drew Turner said the upfront costs of the program, which would include creating templates, marketing, and training materials, would cost UISG no more than $7,000. The definite price will be decided within the next few weeks. Turner said the platform budget was more than $8,000. “This was an idea that we talked about during the campaign, and we received a lot of positive feedback,” said UISG President Katherine Valde. “I’m really thrilled to see this project finally come to fruition.”

Jay Brown, the executive assistant to the UISG president and the head of the project, said that over the next year, both UISG and the Executive Council for Graduate and Professional Students will bring in organizations to receive funding for their websites. Brown said that originally, organizations had to fund the creation and upkeep of a website out of their own pockets, which “led to very 1990-esque websites.”

“I’m honestly ecstatic that this project is going through,” Brown said. “We’re bringing the University of Iowa into the 21st century.” The motion discussed at the past meeting highlighted that the UISG has the resources and ability to create a formal system for student organizations to obtain websites, and Turner confirmed that the group has the funds.

The $7,000 will help cover everything that students need to make websites, including help sections and videos. Student organizations would not be required to pay for their website under this initiative.

“That’s the point of the initiative,” Turner said. “It’s free for the organizations.” Brown said that only 100 organizations would be accepted for this year, and UISG would continue bringing in more over the next few years.

Organizations this year may apply for the project up until March 28. Brown said when the organizations are chosen, UISG will pay $100 to help “walk student organizations through the creation process” of the website. “We’re focusing on making the process as easy as possible for the student organizations,” Brown said.

Brown said a couple of student organizations have been selected by IMU Marketing and Design to test the program over the summer, but the director could not be reached for comment. Jesse Kreitzer, the director of the Bijou Film Board, said his group would be interested in applying for the project. Since it partners with FilmScene, Kreitzer said that the two organizations have been focusing on the downtown cinema, and the website would be a good way to direct students.

“We were planning on revamping the website,” Kreitzer said. “Of course, it would be a hub for our board.”

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