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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

In the 21st century, be in touch!

Published: September 2, 2011
Section: Editorials

Update the home page

The Office of Communications finally updated the top content on the Brandeis home page last week, a few months too late. The update is a positive one—community members who have not seen the advice video from the Class of 2011 to the Class of 2015 ought to take a look.

But we question the de-facto practice of updating the university’s home page on such an infrequent basis. The more content that gets posted to, the more the community can learn just what Brandeis is all about.

So keep the updates frequent, Brandeis, and, at The Hoot, we promise to do the same.

The phantom secretary

Callers to 781-736-2000, the main campus telephone number, are connected to a voice recording. Press one for directions, it instructs, two for mailing information, three to look up a person or department, four for frequent departments or nine for campus police.

But what about information about an event? Or what if a caller wants to know what to do in case of a hurricane? Then what?

The automated secretary has its usefulness. But Brandeis should consider a live operator with knowledge of campus events, or at the very least a clearer hierarchy of whom to call with limited inquiries for community members not clear about the role of campus departments.

We do applaud the use of the website in providing up-to-date information, but sometimes people make phone calls and, when they do, the phantom secretary’s voice is not what they want to hear.

Why do students apply to Brandeis?

When reviewing the Brandeis admissions website, the fact that Brandeis students don’t apply to Brandeis because of its looks becomes self-evident. Just as the majority of campus architecture is dated, so too is the Brandeis admissions website.

A majority of students profiled on the admissions website graduated more than four years ago, and many events and accomplishments of the school that are listed date back more than five or six years.

The design of the site also leaves much to be desired. Many of the fonts and characteristics of the site resemble the Brandeis website that was discarded for the newer, current format in 2009.

Students apply to Brandeis for all sorts of reasons. But without current and accessible information about the school, Brandeis is selling itself short.

If Brandeis administrators agree that presenting the university in a positive light is crucial to attracting students to the school, a Web upgrade can help tremendously.