by Kristen Abell
Hello and welcome back to another academic year of blogging by the fine folks at Student Affairs Women Talk Tech. I think we have all been enjoying our blog vacation, and we are ready to be back and writing scintillating posts for your reading pleasure. We recognize that summer is a good down time for many student affairs professionals, and August for many of us is, well, August.
As for myself, I am in the middle of my second year of my current position as a web developer for student affairs and the university, and I’m still getting used to the fact that my schedule looks quite a bit different from your average student affairs practitioner. Think about it – how many of you wait until the students are gone to turn attention to your websites? I know at my institution that is certainly a trend, and it has resulted in quite a few projects cropping up at the beginning of the summer and winter breaks, as well as at spring break. This means that when many of my student affairs colleagues are enjoying some downtime, I’m deep in the throes of a number of projects. Try adjusting to that after 15+ years on a student affairs schedule!
But this also begs the question why we only think of our websites when the students are gone. As I’m sure I’ve argued before, we need to make websites more of a priority in our offices and make sure they are up-to-date and well-maintained. This is often the front door to our office as far as students are concerned (not to mention other staff, faculty and parents). We should take the same care with our websites that we do in making sure our front desks are staffed with trained individuals and kept neat and orderly.
As I have visited different universities, I have found that one of the main things we need to shift when we are strategizing about our websites and our social media for our offices is our overall approach. These can no longer be those things that we do as we have time. These need to be priorities, and they need to be addressed on a regular basis – whether the students are gone or not.
How often do you update your website? When is the last time you got a new look for your website or refreshed your content? I’m curious to hear how other institutions handle their web presence.