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Perspectives July 8, 2004

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Curate's Egg

The Internet is a treasure trove of information. Surfers on the Web can gather all the information they need about anything under the sun. Whether itís the schedule for the Browns games or flights going to Timbuktu, everything is just a click away. No matter what your level of surfing skill might be, a click here and there can yield a lot of results.

However, this is not the case with the Cleveland State University Web site, which is organized based on two ideas, 1) everything on the site could be categorized according to subject; and 2) most commonly used sites such as the university calendar are linked from the homepage.

For many members of the CSU community, finding information about things like classes, committees and events is often a Herculean task, which keeps them running around in circles and often leaves them frustrated and more confused than when they first started their hunt for information. Often, people wonder whether it is worth checking things on the Web site or to just go to the concerned office and get the information directly.

However, the CSU Web site is like the Curateís egg, parts of it are good and parts of it are bad. Even though it is supposed to offer many services, and lot of information about the campus and its departments, most of the links on it land on pages that are under construction, coming soon or hopelessly outdated. Well they are pretty late in arriving; the construction projects are way behind schedule; and outdated is outdated. For example, if you try to get to Advising Center Web page from the Advising and Planning website, you get to a page which says the Web site is under construction, and you are redirected back to the university home page.

Despite the maze like effect of the Web site, it has its plus points too. The CampusNet system allows students to bypass lines at the registrarís and bursarís offices and conduct activities such as registering for classes and paying their tuition online. The only drawback with CampusNet that many students complain of is that it is unavailable late at night, when many of them get an opportunity to get online.

The CSU Web site requires getting used to. Even though it has a few pages that are under construction, the Web site offers a lot of information for people who want it and know how to get to it. It covers most aspects of life on campus, whether they be academic or not.

In general, it is a boon despite its missing pages or outdated pages. Without it, there would be many long lines outside the offices in different departments; lines comprising of people seeking information about CSU and what it has to offer.

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