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September 26, 2005

commgrad blog and wiki's

The still-in-process new commgrad website is looking awesome! Han has done a terrific job creating a site that promotes us to the outside world. It's clean and provides (so far) basic information that prospective and incoming students will no doubt find extremely helpful, especially international students. All good!

I was hoping there'd be a more interactive component to it for internal purposes but it's not clear that will happen. There is going to be a blog, but since folks are thinking of the overall site as an advertisement it seems doubtful that we'll take many risks there. Yes, here I am again, going on about risk-taking! I'm soooo naive! :-)

I think it would be cool to also use it as an archive for institutional history from the graduate student perspective. We know from our experiences over the last couple of years, and last year in particular, that there seems to be a cycle where grad student organization breaks down periodically, then flares back up, then dies out again, until something galvanizes action. A few things got folks riled up last year and these led to a complete overhaul of the department's student governmental structure. A very good thing and if this website is any indication the newly elected CGSA government-types are doing a bang up job.

I'm thinking of an archive for minutes from CGSA meetings, policies and procedures (including the history of changes), maybe a page that links to activist organizations on campus, grievance procedures, etc.

I also think it would be cool if there was some space for sharing/discussing the ideas that come up in different classes. A place for collective synergy, rather than exclusively the individual or informal small group efforts that are now the norm. If we don't use the blog for this purpose, a wiki offshoot (see the June 23, 2005 entry) would be the most democratic and potentially inclusive way. It sounds like we'd need additional webspace and technical expertise to install and maintain the infrastructure . . . I bet there's a way to have a closed membership, maybe even a private site at first until it we had established some structure and functionality, and then decide if/when it's ready to go public.

Posted by Steph at September 26, 2005 3:44 PM

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