Opportunities whistle as they pass

By Mollie Gower

After four years, I shall be graduating from Eastern with two degrees.

I had some great times at Eastern, going to presentations and concerts, and I’ve made some great friends, some I’ll actually stay in contact with.

Being an outgoing senior that possibly won’t be coming back for a while, I would like to offer some advice to Eastern’s administration — advice that can be taken or ignored as I don’t, obviously, have all the answers. But, I hope you shall consider it a bit of feedback and possibly twist it around in a way that will assist in bettering the university.

First of all, make information easier to find. It is rather difficult to decide who we need to call for certain things.

At The Easterner’s office, we had a broken window and leaky roof, and we weren’t positive who to call.

There wasn’t a link that said, “Click here for putting in work orders.” Maintenance only came when we reported the broken window. I consider a leaky roof to be rather dangerous in a room full of electrical equipment.

Our roof tiles are still yellow from water; it may have mold.

The information provided on the Eastern website can be a little confusing, and I have found myself clicking through various pages to find the information needed.

What would make life easier is a checklist or a document, especially for majors and departments. These checklists are nice because they are savable to a computer and students can print them if needed. This also allows for students to review what they still need offline.

SOAR is a great program but needs working Internet connection to function. With a checklist, students can be sure that they are completing all the requirements for their major.

GECRs are another rather confusing obstacle to navigate through. Some of the classes I thought should be GECRs are not. As a result, I couldn’t take those classes and missed out on a piece of my education I would have been interested in.

I know there is a big debate happening about how to restructure GECRs and if we even should. I would say, “Yes.” I think that GECRs shouldn’t be restricted to certain classes because then you have students taking a class because they can skate through it. Limiting choices limits the interests of students.

My advice would be to not designate certain classes as GECRs but allow students to pick their general requirements from certain departments. For example, if one social science class is required, then allow students to pick from any psychology, sociology or philosophy class offered that quarter.

I think that doing this will allow students to find classes that interest them and push them to expand their horizons.

Also, if you need help writing content, hire some students or intern them at least. I know some majors require that students intern with an organization, why not have some of those students intern at Eastern? Can you not ask classes to assist in rewriting content or organizing the site a little better?

Why won’t you involve students more often? I know Eastern has many capable students who would jump at the chance to be paid, or at least get the experience, to work on something that is not a hypothetical project.

It seems that the question on students lips is, “When will I use this?” Here’s your chance. Show them the answer, and it will allow for better understanding between students and the university.

Another contention I think Eastern needs to be aware of is MyEWUPortal. Websites do not need an instruction manual. Something is broken if you need one.

During one of my web classes, my professor asked us to make a prototype of MyEWUPortal because it is a nightmare. As I was researching, I found that buttons wouldn’t work and menus wouldn’t load on a school computer. My personal computer would sometimes be a hit, but mostly a miss when it came to this site.

Most students at Eastern have dealt with the Internet and websites that allow personalization. Exceptions would be households that don’t have the Internet or parents restricting their children.

Why don’t you trust your students to be capable, Eastern? The manual for MyEWUPortal assumes that students won’t understand your site, which is partly correct because half of it doesn’t work and doesn’t allow for a good user experience, and some students will try to avoid using it all together.

My advice: ask some of the design and computer science students to help you build this site. You are trying to make it so students will have an easier time organizing their email and Canvas, correct? Then utilize them. Ask the design professors; they’ll know exactly who you should talk to for assistance on developing this site.

I know Eastern holds forums where students can voice their grievances, but what about actually involving the students in the inner workings of Eastern? Maybe I’m not seeing the red tape for what it is, but I believe there are some smart people up there who can find a loophole and give students a more immersive education.