The Allegheny Student Government website received extensive renovations during the summer break, and is now fully functional, according to ASG Director of Communications and Press Mark Myers, ’19.
Myers, who was responsible for the overhaul of the site, said the goal was to make the site user-friendly and visually pleasing. He said he tried to go with a design scheme similar to Apple, utilizing white space and colorful graphics.
ASG Vice President Sofia Kaufman, ’17, said the site has come a long way since Myers assumed his position.
“[Myers] completely rebuilt it this summer, and it’s nice to look at now,” Kaufman said.
The site now makes accessing ASG forms, scheduling office hours and finding information about upcoming ASG events more intuitive, Myers said.
“Honestly, people use the website more than they expect,” said ASG President Tess Bracken, ’17.
Myers said the previous site, parts of which were under construction throughout last year, needed to be changed.
“It was just not useable,” Myers said.
The new site is built using the WIX platform. Myers said while working with the program over the summer, he discovered that there was more that could be done with the website than had been done in the past.
“The more I would work with it, the more I learned how far you could go with it,” Myers said.
The new site also features a calendar with major campus events, as well as ASG events, at the bottom of the home page.
Over the summer, Myers worked to keep ASG’s social media presence high, publishing brief bios on each cabinet and senate member so students could put a face to a name of their ASG representatives.
Myers said in addition to the new site, ASG will also send out a newsletter this year every other week, which will include ASG and other campus organizations’ announcements. He said this is part of the cabinet’s effort to make ASG more accessible to students.
“We are trying to rebrand ASG, make it more transparent,” Myers said. “The hope is that people submit things so that I am not just advertising ASG events.”
While the college does send a periodic email to alert students and staff about happenings on campus, known as My Allegheny, Myers said an issue with this email is that most students do not bother to read the email.
One feature of the WIX system is that Myers can see what percentage of students open the newsletter and how long, on average, they spend reading it.
According to Myers, over 90 percent of students open the email and spend some time reading it. This, he said, is much higher than the percentage of students opening My Allegheny emails.
“It’s coming from a different source, so people might take more notice,” Bracken said.
Myers said he does not expect the readership numbers to remain as high as students get used to seeing the newsletter, but said he hopes it will be an alternative source of information for students.
“Our goal is that it’s transparent, short, sweet and to the point,” Myers said.
Bracken said the hope is that the newsletter will become an important part of how students learn about what is happening on campus.
“It’s a more student-focused version of My Allegheny,” Bracken said.
According to Myers, a newsletter used to be sent out, but with the changes in ASG leadership, the practice slowly died out.
In addition to the new website, ASG is implementing increased office hours this year.
Cabinet members, according to Bracken and Kaufman, have always been required to host office hours in the ASG office on the third floor of the campus center. This year, they are continuing the practice while also having required office hours for the class president of each class.
Bracken and Kaufman said this fits in with their larger goal to be more visible to students on campus. They said it is a good practice to always have a representative available to speak to students with questions.
“It’s nice to have someone in the office at all times,” Kaufman said.