By Mylin Batipps
Students, staff and faculty of the College will have their own separate platform for campus news, thanks to the newly launched TCNJ Today website.
The homepage will provide access to campus resources for students and update the campus community with events that have passed and will take place. The College’s original homepage will still be intact, but will only be intended for an outside audience — including parents and prospective students.
The original homepage presented a problem because it tried to appeal to both internal and external audiences, according to David Muha, vice president of communications, marketing and brand management.
“Communication is most effective when you know and are speaking directly to your audience,” Muha said. “The more audiences, the more challenging it becomes.”
Muha explained, for example, that last year the College conducted a campus climate survey, in which students and staff were provided an opportunity to give feedback on their experiences with working on campus. The survey was a feature on the College’s homepage, but since most visitors of the page are parents and people outside the campus community, the survey reached the wrong audience.
“The climate survey wasn’t relevant to them, and because that promo was there, we missed an opportunity to greet them from the moment they landed on the page with content that highlighted the college and the excellence of our faculty, staff and students,” Muha said.
Another issue, according to Muha, is that there is no prominent site for news for the campus community. Students and staff are being kept in the loop with “TCNJ Official Email” messages, but those messages only highlight select pieces of news. A campus newsletter initiative was launched last year but quickly fell.
Muha added that while he would like TCNJ Today to “fill that void” by becoming the campus’s main source of news, he would also like for the site to provide a platform for celebration.
“I think we can have some fun with it. The ‘Take A Bow’ column, for instance, can be used to share achievements that might not warrant a full news story but are important to celebrate nonetheless,” Muha said.
On Wednesday, Oct. 1, students will no longer be able to access resources like PAWS, Canvas and Gmail through the main webpage and will have to go on TCNJ Today’s webpage to access them. Senior business management major David Plishka approves of the new page.
“I think it’s a benefit,” Plishka said. “It’s nice to have the links on the top of the page that are readily accessible.”
Junior nursing major Jordan Stefanski said he will gladly use the new website as long as students will be guided on how to use it.
“As long as they (the administration) can provide an adequate tutorial on its operation, unlike what they did for Canvas, I don’t mind,” Stefanski said.
Muha is hoping that the launch of TCNJ Today will not only inform people, but also bring them together.
“By giving faculty, staff and students a home page of their own, we’re hoping that we can help foster a greater awareness of all the great things happening on our campus, provide a venue for the timely sharing of campus announcements and, ultimately, contribute to a greater sense of community,” Muha said. “It is this last aspect that I’m most excited about.”