Do you know how to use the professional print services around campus? Do you know how to configure your iPhone for LionMail? Do you even know where to look to find this information?
A new collaboration between the WikiCU management team and the communications committees of the Columbia College Student Council and the Engineering Student Council aims to centralize information spread out over various Columbia websites by publishing a series of how-to guides on WikiCU.
“We get a wide variety of emails that are like, ‘How do I start this student group? How do I apply for this funding? Do you know how I can get this light bulb changed?’” Jared Odessky, CC ’15 and vice president of communications for CCSC, said. “It’s hard for us to answer all these different emails, so we wound up just directing people to resources all across campus.”
CCSC and ESC communications committees are now creating a series of step-by-step guides centralized on WikiCU.
Currently, the guides have a three-pronged objective: to answer queries related to student life, involving housing, dining, and academics; to address student groups’ concerns on topics such as space and funding; and to help students familiarize themselves with Morningside Heights.
However, the communications committees said that they hope the scope of the guides would expand once they are turned over to the Columbia community.
Odessky also said that he hoped the guides on WikiCU would encourage students to edit the guides themselves and ensure that they are kept updated.
“We don’t want them to be left useless in posterity when things change,” he said.
Sam Aarons, SEAS ’14 and WikiCU’s web administrator, said that he was enthusiastic about the project and that he plans to feature the how-to guides on the main page of WikiCU.
“I do want to feature them prominently,” he said, “and that’s because I think they are so useful to what people on campus need.”
Aarons added, “WikiCU has always been about finding information, like anything you want to know about Columbia is there, and I think that the how-to guides are a perfect example of ways to make that information-finding much easier and also in a much more palatable format.”
Other students said that they appreciate the project.
“It’s better to keep the information closer together, especially for the questions that people always have that you don’t know where to look for answers, other than sending an email,” Gloria DiMino, CC ’15, said.
She also said that she could see herself contributing to WikiCU “if the opportunity presented itself.”
Still, some said that they did not see themselves editing articles on WikiCU.
“I don’t know if I would actually end up writing on it,” Jill Tunis, SEAS ’15 said, “but I would definitely use and appreciate the information that it provides.”