Huntsman Post

School hopes to get students on the same page - a web page

By Brent Meacham

Summer is over. School’s back in session. Students are arming themselves with the traditional implements of academic survival: textbooks, pens, notebooks, backpacks, headphones and the latest MP3 players.

This year’s incoming students, however, will have one new tool that no Huntsman student has ever had before and this gizmo won’t fit in a backpack. The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business has launched a new student-focused website.

Shara Gibbons, webmaster for the Huntsman School of Business, said the new site is aimed at meeting the student’s need for quick, accurate information about college life.

“The purpose of the new website is to offer an online environment targeted at the needs of our Huntsman students,” Ms. Gibbons said. “The new page will include links to information about clubs, events, classes, programs and activities.”

The site is designed to be easy to navigate and includes eye-catching graphics and relevant content, Ms. Gibbons said. One unique feature incorporated into the site is links on the main page to Aggiemail and Blackboard, two key online services for all USU students.

Ms. Gibbons hopes the new site will become a place students will visit often.

“The hope is that students will want to come back to this page frequently to get the latest information about what is happening at the Huntsman School and will make the new student website their home page,” she said.

Ms. Gibbons predicts this will become a pivotal connecting point between the Huntsman School and its students.

“We want it to be such a valuable and cool experience that this becomes the student’s chosen homepage – and not because we said so, but because it provides relevant information that they’ll need on a regular basis,” Ms. Gibbons said.

Sterling Morris, a Huntsman School intern who specializes in photography and film, has helped the school with its multimedia offerings and has transformed its Facebook page.

“Our goal is to disseminate relevant information about the Huntsman School in multiple formats that satisfy all the needs of our diverse student body,” Mr. Morris said.

Since 2009, the Huntsman School of Business has seen nearly a 300 percent increase in its Facebook fans. It now has more than 1,000 followers, and usually attracts 10 to 30 new followers per week.

“In addition to the Huntsman Facebook page, the Huntsman School has developed an actively growing Twitter page, YouTube page, and a LinkedIn group page; and we are excited to see the positive response we receive from users of each of these social-media outlets,” said Mr. Morris.

Another electronic improvement for students this fall will be new interactive touch screens at the George S. Eccles Business Building that students can also use to connect to the new multimedia content and videos that have been created for them.

Students and faculty are encouraged to participate with a new virtual suggestion box found on the new student site to give input on ways to improve the Huntsman experience.

“While we really like what we have today,” Ms. Gibbons said, “we need the collective input from more of our students to make this a truly student-directed site.”