Gonzaga was one of the most searched locations on Google in 2017. With this honor comes great responsibility: a responsibility to look modern, fresh and relevant.
Recently, GU unveiled a new and “improved” public website. With a new homepage and new links to new features of the website, this page seems promising to incoming students.
However, it seems like the new website excludes one very important population: current students.
“The new public website is focused on the interests and needs of prospective students and families, alumni, friends and supporters of the university,” said Kurt Heimbigner, senior director of integrated marketing and web communications.
Being a junior, I have found myself using the GU website on many occasions. Usually, all I have to do is enter “Office of Student Development” into the search bar and I have everything I need to contact that office.
Last week, I was assigned an article in which I needed to interview Dr. Judi Biggs Garbuio, vice president of student development. However, the phone number for this office was not listed. I scoured the new website, typing in every key word I could think of into the search engine to no avail.
Eventually, I scrolled far enough back into my Zagmail to uncover the number, listed at the bottom of one of the many emails we receive from the Student Development Office throughout the year.
This experience shocked me. How are we, as students, supposed to know and utilize our resources if we have reduced accessibility to them? I eventually did get to talk to Student Development, but it was a much harder objective to obtain than it used to be.
One upside to this new website is that it does look inviting. If I were a senior in high school trying to find my new home for the next four years, GU’s website would have roped me in immediately. However, it feels as though our university is so focused on the new that it forget the current. This website makes me feel like I am old news along with the rest of the upperclassmen.
I am sure this website revamp will pay off in the long run. I also recognize that the world around us is constantly changing, so sometimes we need to evolve with it. However, I do not think this website is user-friendly.
Now I know how my parents felt when they were trying to use “the Facebook” and I simply rolled my eyes at them. I feel ancient and washed up, like a technological idiot.
Molly Gianarelli is a staff writer. Follow her on Twitter: @MollyGianarelli.