Michael Padon" />
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Sunday, September 24, 2023


UH would benefit from digital transparency

Editorial cartoon drawn by Ho Yi Lau/The Daily Cougar

Have you ever walked across campus and run into a large group of people and you weren’t sure what they were doing? That happened to me last week when the C.T. Bauer College of Business’s entrepreneurship class held its annual burger cook-off. I attended last year’s event, but this year I didn’t even know it was happening until I was in the thick of it (and without any cash, to boot).

When walking around campus, students are exposed to banners and signs everywhere, but the most effective way of advertising an event is still by word of mouth.

Some small groups have e-mail systems, but those can get annoying and eventually students ignore most of the messages. For example, some students don’t care if there will be different industrial design courses offered next semester — those only apply to industrial engineering majors in the College of Engineering — but every engineering major receives those e-mails.

UH has many forms of online media, from The Daily Cougar’s events section to Green UH to the residential dining menus. There are also many student organizations that mostly operate through Facebook groups.

The bottom line is that students need to check many sources to get the entire picture of what is going on at UH in any given day.

What the University should work for is digital transparency — allowing all UH activities to be available online on one place.

There are places like that on the Web and there are even sites dedicated exclusively to UH, but none of them have the backing of the University or even University integration.

It would be great if anyone could go to UH’s Web site and see a calendar of events for the whole day on the home page. Such a centralized form of school events would portray a unified school and would foster greater participation in on-campus events.

One of the main problems with the University is that it is not perceived well by the surrounding community, which stems from the way it is perceived by the UH students who live in said community.

There are many incredible events and organizations on campus; student life at UH truly is vibrant. The University should play that up in school marketing.

Two things above all others make UH students open to attending University events. First, most students are online anyway, either in class or in one of the many computer labs on campus. Second, UH is a commuter school and once a student gets to campus for the day, they are here until their last class is over.

Theoretically, this means if those students did all their homework at home, they would have time to devote to UH organizations. It’s a way for students to make new friends through hobbies they already have.

Basically, this could create a much greater sense of school solidarity by making on-campus activities available to the entire student body through a centralized, school-maintained Web application.

Michael Padon is an engineering sophomore and may be reached at [email protected]

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