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The Undergraduate Council debuted a revamped website Monday, which UC leaders say will serve as a resource compendium for students and will better allow undergraduates to hold the body to its promises.
An overhaul of the Council’s website formed a key campaign promise of UC President Catherine L Zhang ’19 and Vice President Nicholas D. Boucher ’19 in fall 2017. Boucher said he began working on the website in December, but said multiple delays—including a prolonged back-and-forth with Harvard University Information Technology—pushed back the site’s launch.
The new website features what Zhang and Boucher call “progress bars,” which they say will allow students to keep track of the pair's 39 original campaign goals.
“It marks a huge change, as we are keeping up with the times and making sure that all information is up-to-date, easily accessible, and centralized,” Zhang said in an interview Tuesday.
Zhang said the progress bars on the new website will help broadcast to the student body the initiatives the UC is pursuing.
“Oftentimes you don’t hear about initiatives until they come they come to completion,” she said. “At the end of the day, we are always working towards everything, you just might not see it.”
Boucher said Tuesday that UC leaders are continuing to add material to the website, including links to various mental health and sexual assault response resources.
“We want to make sure that... the information is both accurate and as comprehensive as we can make it,” he said. “We are making sure to reach out to every interest group on campus for which we want to publish resources.”
Boucher added that what he called the “decentralized” nature of the University can at times mean students are unaware of various resources Harvard offers.
“We believe that Harvard actually has a tremendous amount of information that is published online across all of its many different divisions and organizations, but locating that information can be difficult,” Boucher said. “What we aim to do is bring all of that information together, not necessarily by providing new information, but by letting our website act as a hub to connect to other resources that exist online.”
The launch of the revamped website comes a little over a week after the Council’s website was briefly hacked by a group calling itself the “Iran Cyber Security Group”—and a few days after The Crimson reported a previous version of the UC's site left voting records editable by all College students for months. Boucher said Tuesday the platform of the website is “more comprehensive” than the previous iteration.
“The new website is built upon a technical framework that I believe is significantly more secure than the previous framework,” he said. “The framework... offers a little bit more enterprise-level security as opposed to personal-level security that we saw with our old website.”
—Staff writer Jonah S. Berger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jonahberger98.
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