October 29, 2001

Incoming Students Create Website to Address Freshman Concerns

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Administrators and students are working together to revamp the Class of 2005 website. Originally designed to ease the transition to the University, the site will now address more current issues affecting freshmen.

“The old web page was geared more toward incoming freshmen, while the new site will focus more on current student life,” said Adam Berlinsky-Schine ’05, a student organizer of the website.

“This past spring, a few of us decided to create a web page that would allow incoming freshmen to meet each other before arriving on campus,” he explained.

Then, over the summer, the site’s student organizers sent the web page to members of the administration for suggestions and approval.

“We looked at it and saw a very creative idea that needed to be pursued,” said Project Coordinator Marisa Piliero ’96.

The decision was then made to expand the site beyond its initial function as a pre-orientation activity.

“We asked ourselves how we could use this as a tool for developing class identity not only before the freshmen year, but also throughout the undergraduate and postgraduate years,” Piliero added.

“Cornell then contacted us and discussed the possibilities of the website’s future,” Berlinsky-Schine said.

Since then, the student originators have been working with Cornell to refine the site’s content to fit the needs of a changing audience.

“As we receive more feedback from the survey that is currently up, we gain a better idea of what the site needs to be,” said Eric Grysko ’05, another site organizer.

Among the new features of the new site are an electronic ride board and job posting services; however, the exact content of the page will depend on the responses to the survey. The survey, a brief series of yes or no questions, is currently available at www.classof2005.cornell.edu.

Nearly 15 percent of the current freshmen class has been using the site. News of the site has spread by word of mouth and Internet postings.

Even though the site is now officially endorsed by Cornell, students will still be in charge of the content.

“Students will be given primary oversight for the page,” Piliero said.

In addition to developing the website concept for the Class of 2005, administrators are now looking forward to new projects and have already begun registering domain names for future classes.

“The hope is that what is being started with this class will extend to future classes as well,” Piliero added.

The new Class of 2005 Web Site is expected to be up by the end of the semester.

Archived article by Philip Lane