New website brings criticism and controversy

Jackson Volenec Reporter

Southern’s Information Technology Department held an open forum in Jennings Hall Thursday, Sept. 12 for students, staff and faculty members to discuss the four months of progress made to the SCSU website.

“We have been improving aspects of the site, from content to performance, and we’re seeing how the site is functioning since its inception,” said Trevor Brolliar of the Southern IT Department. According to Brolliar, the department has been making major improvements on how the website manages and organizes its content.

Faculty and staff members voiced questions and concerns they had regarding the development of the website. The IT department said they had responded to these concerns in an open conversation setting, encouraging any and everyone to voice their opinions.

According to the department, they are currently in the process of migrating the Southern’s online content from the old website to the new one. “For every department that we’ve launched, we have every page from the old site that will be integrated to the new site,” said Brolliar.

This migration process has resulted in a few minor errors with the site, particularly with links not working the way they should.The department is also prioritizing proper organization of all the information being carried over. They said they are saving the information from the previous websites and reorganizing it onto the new website for a better user experience.

“There have been fewer [dead links] now compared to, let’s say, six weeks ago. You’re getting a noticeable difference now,” said Christopher Perugini of IT department. IT has been working daily for the last nine months to actively fix and improve any issues that are reported or discovered, and the site is always in the process of improvement.

IT also discussed their reviewing process that they use while taking all requests and trouble tickets into consideration.

With the migration of the new site, much of Google’s search results for SCSU show the outdated results before they show the new and updated. IT explained that this is a result of search engines favoring content that has been up for a longer time, and that they were fixing this issue as well.

“We have been forcing the removal of old content on Google and other search engines. We also do scan every Monday to make sure that there are no broken links on the website,” said SCSU Web Administrator Jian Chan.

Although the forum was not exclusive to faculty and staff, there were no students at in attendance. According to Brolliar the department will also be holding forums in the future directed towards students exclusively.

The department will continue improving the school’s public site, optimizing the functionality of the overall website and tending to the Southern community, taking all feedback regarding how to improve the site.

“Everyone has their own concerns that we’ve been working on for the site, and we are trying to make the site perform as well as possible.” Brolliar said.

Photo credit: Izzy Manzo

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