Face it: 3:30 p.m. does not signal the end of our school day. Between studying and participating in extracurricular activities, the time we dedicate to school almost always exceeds the seven hours a day that we spend in the building. Upon returning home and turning on our computers, each and every one of us immediately reconnects with Stuyvesant, this time in its on-line manifestation. As children of the Internet, we have grown up using Google as a verb and have become over-reliant on Wikipedia for school research projects. The Internet has long been ingrained into our souls.
In addition to procrastinating on Facebook and YouTube, Stuyvesant students swarm the Internet, making use of the large number of school-related Web sites available. However, our navigating abilities are hindered by a lack of connection between the sites. In order to make surfing the web more convenient for students, the Stuyvesant on-line community needs to become more unified.
Many of us spend time on the most popular of these sites: the official Stuyvesant Web site, www.stuy.edu. We visit it to find out the week’s bell and gym schedules, hear the latest from Assistant Principal Technology Edward Wong and, of course, analyze our transcript for the 100th time and obsess over various college acceptance statistics.
Aside from the official Stuyvesant website, there is a vast array of sites dedicated to the student body. From www.stuysu.org to www.stuyspectator.com and www.stuycom.net, there is seemingly a website for every need or desire a Stuyvesant student might potentially have.
Got a club? The Student Union (SU) Web site, www.stuysu.org, is essential if you need to get in contact with the club/pub director to book a room for a meeting. For anyone who has missed out on all the latest news, www.stuyspectator.com is The Spectator on the Web, providing school-related information to those who neglect to pick up the printed copy. And for any Stuyvesant student who has ever felt the urge to complain about a school-related problem, needed help studying for a final, or just wanted to check up on the previous years’ crush lists, he or she should bookmark www.stuycom.net. From the official Web site to student-run sites for various clubs and individual grades, there is a vast number of school community Web sites available to us.
And that’s the problem; a refinement of the on-line Stuyvesant community is in order. Currently, getting sufficient Stuyvesant-related information on the internet is like a modern-day wild goose chase. But with the help of the school’s Technology department and a few clicks of the mouse, gathering information as members of the Stuyvesant community could be faster than fiber optic.
Navigating the numerous Web sites to stay updated on all school-related information is extremely confusing. The www.stuy.edu site could be greatly improved by adding a sidebar with links to all the Web sites Stuyvesant students use, creating a database for easy access. In addition, the SU’s club/pub directory, though currently updated with an accurate list, should be advertised more efficiently; the link from the www.stuy.edu homepage takes a user to the SU Web site, but not directly to the club/pub list.
While the links would be convenient, it’s unlikely that the administration would want to connect to sites such as www.stuycom.net. Various features (such as an occasional ‘hot or not’ poll, Stuyvesant edition), while sometimes amusing, could be considered offensive and unprofessional. And while overlooking these slight detriments might be beneficial in the long run, it is understandable that the administration would not want to endorse that kind of humor. Perhaps www.stuycom.net should consider making some less risqué choices if they wish to be promoted by the official website.
In recent years, our society has been making the transitions to the Internet as a more efficient and quick method of communication. Easing that transition by making minor adjustments to the official school Web site would result in both a happier student body, as well as a more organized and well run Stuyvesant community.