University Web site encounters criticism

Missouri Southern´s Web site has come under fire recently for complaints about its design, content and lack of consistency between pages.

Missouri Southern´s Web site has come under fire recently for complaints about its design, content and lack of consistency between pages.

Students freely navigate through the halls of Missouri Southern but find it difficult to navigate through Southern’s Web site.

Southern has been experiencing difficulty with its Web site due to the lack of designers.

Rod Surber, director of public information, said he knows there is a problem and he is in the process of having it fixed.

“I realize there are a number of problems, but when there is a low administrative cost and you don’t have staff members to design, what are you left to do,” Surber said.

One student said the Web site does not represent the University, nor does it follow modern design.

“The Web site is suppose to be the window of the University,” said Alex Vasilev, sophomore CIS major. “At this point, I feel that the Web site dissuades people from coming to Missouri Southern.”

Vasilev said he feels the Web site should display a number of features that are related to the school, such as students’ life on campus or maybe a building that represents the school and it should be compatible with other browsers other than Internet Explorer.

“In my opinion the Web site is not unique,” he said. “You don’t have the same feel when you navigate from page to page.”

Surber said public information is doing the best it can with the resources it is has been given.

“We have hired an outside programmer to figure out the problem,” Surber said.

He said several pages have been redesigned to help the appearance of the Web site.

“One may say something is beautiful and the other may not have the same opinion, so in essence, beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” Surber said.

Surber said students are not the only ones frustrated; he is too.

Rumors of the Web site being hired out were not true.

“We have not hired the site out, again, we have out sourced the site; I would never be in favor of that,” Surber said. “We are looking into purchasing a content management system so we can manage the site better, but that has not been approved yet.”

Vasilev said at the Nov. 17 Student Senate meeting he asked if any steps were being taken to improve the Web site and University President Julio León said the administration will look into it.

Vasilev said the Web site lacks unity and accessibility.

“Changing the name from a ‘College’ to ‘University’ does not mean that we are if we don’t look like one,” he said.

Vasilev said the page containing the residence hall information is excellent but one really has to search that page if one wants to contact them.

“I am somewhat a web designer myself, and when I seen the Web site, I notice the flaws,” he said.

Surber said the goal is to move forward and fix the problems with the Web site.

“There will be an adjustment for everyone when it comes to navigation, design and menus,” Suber said.

He said administration and public information recognize the importance of the Web site and its growth.

“I know that the Web site has become extremely important and I am welcome to the comments and suggestions of students,” Suber said. “Please make sure they are gentle and kind.”