Last block, the Roundtable launched a new interactive website intended to fundamentally change student and student-group communication at CC.
The site, coloradocollege.me, is an eye-catching, user-friendly interface that allows a visitor to comprehensively see upcoming events as well as identify details on a specific event. Its creation is an attempt to streamline the dissemination of information about happenings on campus.
CC’s Roundtable was the primary catalyst for the site’s crystallization. Formed as a body of students who each represent a campus group, the Roundtable serves as a supplement to CCSGA; the group’s director, Ryan Haas, is afforded a vote in CCSGA Full Council decisions.
The development of coloradocollege.me has been a yearlong process. According to Roundtable chairman and CCSGA Director of Student Organizations Ryan Haas, this was an idea whose origins emerged early in the Roundtable’s lifespan.
“At the second Roundtable meeting, we decided we needed to adopt a project that can bring student leaders together, enhance their leadership capabilities, and at the same time, fix the campus problems,” Haas said.
The Roundtable resolved to create a forum for campus group leaders to be able to interact effectively in a way that is more straightforward than the student life digest, and expand student group activities outside the CC campus. Roundtable member Garrett Benisch saw these as crucial priorities.
“One of the big goals of the site is to broaden the purpose of the digest so that we can encapsulate more of CC culture,” Benisch said. “So if the events are public, we can now ‘break the bubble.’”
The site intends to improve the general function of the digest in a way that is more conducive to the average CC student’s habits. Since students are likely to be more receptive to a sophisticated, centralized website than a monolithic email, the site is intended to allow more student involvement in campus events.
After that second Roundtable meeting, the group engaged in several brainstorming sessions in which the needs of campus group leaders were identified and ways to address them were proposed. Beginning over winter break, Haas got to work creating the site and has continued to work assiduously to make it a success.
“Over winter break, I started to teach myself web design,” Haas said. “We responded to feedback that was given, we created a prototype, kind of a visual concept that was close to what we wanted it to look like, but didn’t have all the elements that we needed.”
After the group had identified the function the site would perform, a series of experiments aiming to perfect the product ensued.
“I think there were three phases,” Haas said. “There was identifying and processing the problem, and then there was the experimenting and conceptualizing how we would solve the problem, and then there was the finalizing and the presentation and thinking about how we wanted to release this platform.”
The site has received a large amount of feedback, most of which has been enthusiastically positive. But the main challenge coloradocollege.me faces is maintaining its status as a popular way to gain information as time goes on and its initial creators leave CC.
“I think there’s a general concern about the institutional sustainability of this,” Haas said. “It’s very hard to train someone else to do this and we’re trying very hard to find the next person who will replace my position on the Roundtable.”
Another concern is the lack of administrative energy allocated to the coordination of student groups. “I truly believe that this disconnect between information and institutional memory within populations at CC can only be remedied by an administrative change or enhancement,” Haas said.
A certain amount of responsibility has been placed on incumbent and incoming members of CCSGA to maintain the website. Jacob Walden, CCSGA’s current Communications Manager and future Internal Affairs VP, identified the website’s continuation as one of CCSGA’s interests.
“Although CCSGA does not currently manage the website, it has been suggested that student government may take responsibility for maintaining it next year in conjunction with the Roundtable,” Walden said. “CCSGA is interested in ensuring the website’s sustainability in the long term.”
The assembly meets on the first Sunday of every block, decked out in their finest attire, for dinner at the Stewart House. The format of the meetings is one of group discussion, task forces, and informational workshops.
According to some students, the site does achieve its intended purpose of replacing the digest in a more engaging way. Junior Jack Williamson finds that it is easily navigable and provides helpful information.
“For one thing, I don’t have to scroll through the email and figure out what I want to read about,” Williamson said. “I think it’s going to get me a lot more involved, personally. It seems really inclusive.”