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Council reviews improvements, approves final Web site

Molly Madden | Wednesday, February 17, 2010

 At the Council of Representatives (COR) meeting Tuesday night, members reviewed improvements made to the new Web site, rent.nd.edu, and unanimously approved the final version.

At the last meeting of COR, many members raised objections to the version of rent.nd.edu that was proposed to them. The Web site, which student body president Grant Schmidt said would be a resource for students to review off-campus housing options, has been modified to be more accessible and user-friendly based on the suggestions from members of COR.
“Two major issues about rent.nd.edu that were raised in the last meeting have been fixed,” Schmidt said.
One of the biggest debates was over who would control or monitor the subjective information that can be posted to the Web site by students. Schmidt said a “Correct This Information” box was added to every listing where visitors to the site can post corrections to information that they feel is incorrect about specific properties.
“The information that visitors post in this box will be sent to the administrator as well as to the individual who created that listing,” Schmidt said. 
Sophomore Joey Rich, the creator of rent.nd.edu, will continue to be the administrator of the Web site for the next few years and he will be the one responsible for monitoring the site. 
“After Joey decides that he doesn’t want to be involved in the Web site anymore, it will be up to student government to decide if they want to continue with this resource or not,” Schmidt said. 
The other major issue that was fixed was the display and organization of properties. At the last meeting of COR, many members had expressed concern with the difficulty of rating and reviewing complexes or the individual properties that comprise that complex. 
Schmidt said students now have the option of rating a complex as a whole or a specific property within that complex, making the content much easier for students to view.
Since rent.nd.edu was unveiled last week, there have already been more than 1,600 views, despite the fact that student government hasn’t advertised the site yet. Schmidt said this fact was very encouraging and thinks that rent.nd.edu has a lot of potential to be successful.
“I really think that this is an awesome resource,” he said. “We can also tie this into off-campus safety because now students can be better informed and feel more secure knowing that they’re living in a safe area.”
Schmidt said Student Government will e-mail off-campus students about the Web site today so that they can start reviewing their properties and complexes on the site.
Schmidt then reminded members of COR that they only had six weeks left before the newly elected student government officials begin acting in their new positions. He said the last few weeks would be a good time to address any issues that they felt were important. 
Schmidt said he planned to discuss issues involving Food Services, medical amnesty and personal meetings with hall rectors in the coming weeks with COR. Meetings with the will take place in the next week and will involve two members of student government talking to each rector individually about improving residence life on campus.
“Rectors play such an important role on campus and we want to talk to them about the bettering their role and bettering residence hall life,” Schmidt said. 
After talking to rectors, members of student government will then meet with student senators and other dorm residents to gain better insights into potential improvements.