YCC touts new Web site’s features

Do you know what the Yale College Council does? Yes? No? Maybe? President Rebecca Taber ’08 just wants to make sure you do.

With the Monday launch of the YCC’s new Web site, Taber sent out a campuswide e-mail encouraging students to “Find out!” what exactly their colleges’ representatives have been up to on the Council.

“I think it’s really important to have a central way for students to find out what we’re doing and to give us feedback for what they’d like us to do,” Taber said Monday. “Until the site was created we were very decentralized in terms of representatives both soliciting and distributing information within their college.”

What began as a dim idea tossed around at YCC meetings in September came to fruition Monday as the site went live. Students logging onto the site found a plucky bulldog — which some students may remember from Taber’s campaign Web site last year — looking up at the words “Welcome to the Yale College Council.”

The move reduces the dependence of YCC’s online presence on the YaleStation team, which had previously acted on YCC suggestions and

worked as a third party to maintain the YCC site. YaleStation was involved in discussions about a new YCC Web site from the get-go, YaleStation

Director Samuel Chua ’08 explained, encouraging the body to develop a more independent site that would facilitate YCC’s mission and allow for changes in a more expedient fashion.

“This site is a huge step up from the old one,” Chua said. “The YCC has more direct control over their site this time.”

Content — provided in most cases by Taber or other YCC representatives — runs the gamut from the YCC’s constitution to the extracurricular interests of YCC Vice President Emily Schofield ’09 which, apparently, include “cheesecake.”

Indeed, much of the site humanizes the names and faces of representatives with whom students may not have had extensive contact but nevertheless they depend on to represent their interests both within the YCC and to the administration. A section titled “Representatives” lists each college’s two representatives along with their primary YCC projects — for example, Undergraduate Career Services Reform or the unsuccessful Credit/D/Fail Proposal.

But Taber also emphasized the practical nature of the site, citing pages that link student organizations to funding sources and the “Current Projects” section of the site, which will allow students to stay up to date on the progress of YCC proposals.

The site’s layout and design was the work of Matt Blackshaw ’08, who developed Taber’s campaign Web site during the YCC elections of spring 2007. This time around, he said, the site’s layout and structure took him “about 20 hours” to complete. Blackshaw said he was paid an hourly rate “about average for web developers,” although he declined to discuss specifics.

While data on traffic and visitation for the site’s first day was not available at press time, the site’s anonymous comment section featured eight posts by late Monday evening.

“In addition to burgers, Princeton offers Philly Cheesesteaks as one of their regular grill options,” one poster suggested. “I think this is something we can manage.”

Another praised the Web site, saying it is “important that the YCC be highly accountable and transparent.”

According to the site, the next YCC-sponsored project will be a subsidized “party train” scheduled to run from Yale to New York City on April 5, shuttling students to planned festivities in the city and returning them to campus late that night on board exclusively booked Metro-North train cars, one of which will feature a DJ.

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