Student senate previews new UI site

By Michael Logli

Members of the Illinois Student Senate received a first look at the preliminary design of the new University Web site Wednesday.

University students will be able to see the new design on the Creative Services Web site by the beginning of the spring semester, or they can watch Creative Services Project Manager Joel Steinfeldt and graphic designer Valerie Turner’s presentation of the site during the televised meeting Monday at 7 p.m.

Steinfeldt and Turner told senators that after meeting with Chancellor Richard Herman and Provost Linda Katehi and collecting survey results, they were able to create a streamlined, interactive site that acts as an information concierge. The new site will feature fewer text links, a search engine, compatibility with larger-resolution monitors and an emergency alert system.

“The number one user of our Web site is you,” Steinfeldt said. “We need to make it easy for you.”

The senate also passed a resolution encouraging businesses on Green Street to make entrances to their businesses and restaurants more accessible to students with disabilities. According to the resolution, written by Kevin Fritz, sophomore in LAS and senator, the University is globally ranked as the most accessible campus for the disabled. It is extremely difficult to enter some buildings without an automated door option, Fritz said.

“Green Street is a highlight of campus, but a lot of buildings are not fully accessible,” he said.

Graduate student and senator Dan Nugent submitted an appropriations request asking the senate to purchase an iClicker electronic voting system for its upcoming elections in March. This system would allow votes to be tabulated immediately and guarantee compliance with the Open Meetings Act, which eliminates secret ballots, Nugent said. The appropriations will be voted on next week.

“You will probably get a more honest vote like with a secret ballot,” said Jason Webber, vice president external and graduate student.