Under construction

It’s not a rumor! Unfortunately. The Associated Students of Portland State University (ASPSU) does indeed have a website—in theory.

It’s not a rumor! Unfortunately. The Associated Students of Portland State University (ASPSU) does indeed have a website—in theory.

They do have a web address, and if one types it into a web browser, one will actually reach the desired destination. Of course, that’s really the only way you’re ever going to get to the site without losing your mind first. It took me 25 minutes, 36 link clicks and 42 eye rolls to find the ASPSU home page starting from the Portland State University home page. And honestly, I’m pretty sure that I found it by pure luck…I couldn’t tell you how I got there for anything, including the deletion of all my student loan debt and a double-scoop mint chocolate chip ice-cream cone. And I knew exactly what I was looking for. Now my head hurts.

For the sake of your mental health, here is the site address: http://aspsu.pdx.edu/node.

The ASPSU website also sports a really pretty page design with shades of green, black and white. At least we know it is a PSU thing, right? And let me not forget to mention the links which are positioned all over the damn place and in a neat row across the top of the page, imitating the more sophisticated web design feature called “drop-down menus.” Visitors can easily find anything they might be looking for—in theory. That is, if there was anything to find on the website, and if you can even find the website in the first place.

Of course, the page that opens when clicking on one of these nifty little links is basically useless—literally useless. Do you want to know about one of the people in charge of our government at Portland State? Forget about it. There are no bios, there is no personal contact information, and there are very few photos. What, are they hiding from us?

Do you want to get involved in student government? Well, you are welcome to do so, and encouraged to join in a number of ways. Not that I can really tell you what any of them are in any sort of detail after going over the website. All except the Internship Opportunities pages are under construction.

What I can report after spending much time scanning the website is this: You can “join an on-campus committee, be an intern, volunteer, or a campaign coordinator, we have available spots for you.” Is that even a proper sentence? How eloquent the word choice is, too. Nothing screams professionalism like the phrase “available spots.” I want to be part of that!

Alright, so what can be done to improve the condition of the ASPSU website? Well, for starters, our leaders could take a look at the corresponding sites at the University of Oregon or the University of California at Berkeley for example, which actually provide contact information and project details.

Writing some bios and personal political mission statements would be just lovely as well. Especially on a page entitled “Meet Your 2010–2011 Executive Staff!” Are you paying attention, ASPSU? Would uploading photos of everyone be asking for too much? Please. We only want to know who our leaders are—and who to blame when the appropriate time comes. Say cheese!

The only member of ASPSU’s executive staff with a photo presented on the executive staff page is that of president Katie Markey. Every other position just has name and position listed along side a blank spot on the page. Of course, it can be difficult to keep such things updated when staff keeps turning over like it has this year.

Now admittedly, there is some brief information regarding ASPSU’s campaigns this year—that of restructuring and the food bank. Does anyone know PSU even has a food bank? Most everything else on the site is under construction including the most, if not only, well known development ASPSU has succeeded in doing this year—gender inclusive spaces.

Really, all that is needed to improve the ASPSU website and make it at all useful—yes it is that bad—is to employ some common sense. We understand it can be overwhelming; we realize you’re in government. Please try. ?