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Roo Groups replaces server to nowhere

New Student Involvement website tries to be user-friendly

UMKC’s former student organization website, www.studo.umkc.edu, is little more than an abyss of outdated links to student organizations.

A new Office of Student Involvement (OSI) link now appears on the school website, listing all current student groups and an online application for new student organizations.

However, a Google search for “UMKC student organizations” still lists the studo website as its number one result, creating unnecessary overlap between the two.

The primary reason for the new website was the complexity of the old student organization web server.

Setting up a group under the studo domain requires the use of HTML coding and extensive web knowledge many students lack.

Roo Groups, a website implemented this summer, allows students to set up groups through WordPress, a more user-friendly publishing platform.

“Basically all the studo server did was give students access to build their own website,” Assistant Director of Student Life Shelby Coxon said. “Roo Group is already set up with a template in there that students can use to build their own website. We’ve found the WordPress template is a lot easier.”

Coxon said efforts are being made to eliminate the overlap between the two Student Involvement websites.

“[Eliminating the old website] is the hope of information services,” Coxon said. “But we aren’t going to require to get rid of it if they already have a website under a studo domain.”

The new website has the added advantage of being more hands-on and interactive.

“Through Roo Groups, transitions of officers within student organizations will be easier and student organizations will be able to post all the necessary information on their websites,” Coordinator for Orientation and Student Organizations Gina Lichte said.

Roo Groups allows students to see information including events, meetings, membership and other documents, such as Constitutions, by-laws and an online application for new student groups.

Through the link, Roogroups.collegiatelink.net, students will be able to log in using their student accounts and then clicking the “Organizations” link on the black board.

Students who register student organizations online will have to wait for OSI approval. However, it should be noted that the student who registers the organization in Roo Groups will be the primary contact.

Roo Groups was also designed to help students who are not currently involved in a campus organization find their niche.

A bulletin board of flyers and events on the Roo Groups home page shows updates from organizations that use Roo Groups. It also allows students to RSVP to events and add them to their Google calendars.

To streamline the functions of campus groups in a single location, Student Involvement encourages organizations to register in Roo Groups and upload documents, events and information.

Organizations interested in setting up a website through Roo Groups can attend one of the OSI training sessions, which will be offered throughout the semester.

The training sessions will teach students how to use WordPress and other tips for using Roo Groups.

nzoschke@unews.com

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