EmoryLife: Student Organization Websites
EmoryLife is an online home for Emory’s student organizations, provided by the Student Government Association and the Division of Campus Life. It’s a fast, free way for student organizations to develop a web presence. We’ve provided the tools, templates, and the funding. All you have to do is provide the content.
If you’re a general student organization, getting a website is easier than ever. You simply fill out a form to request a site. Once your request is submitted, here’s what happens:
- Natasha Hopkins in the Office of Student Leadership and Service makes sure that your organization is chartered, in good standing, registered and updated on Community, and that the person requesting the website (in this case, you) has permission to do so (usually that means they’re a registered officer in the organization).
- Once he gets the thumbs-up from Natasha, the SGA Vice President for Communications, Yuxuan Chen, sets up the site on EmoryLife, assigns a basic theme, and registers an account for you. This takes about three minutes.
- EmoryLife sends an email to you containing your username and password. You can log in and begin editing your new website!
EmoryLife is coming along with an update to the Emory University Policy that directly affects student organizations, Policy 8.12. The good news is, if you’re a part of EmoryLife, your website is automatically compliant. If your site isn’t on EmoryLife, there are a few guidelines that you’ll have to keep in mind. We’ve printed some here for your convenience, but you should always consult the policies website for the official, up-to-date list. Websites are protected under Policy 8.14, Respect for Open Expression Policy.
All student organization websites must meet the following criteria:
- Hosted on a server controlled by Emory University
- Compliant with applicable local, state, and federal laws, including but not limited to those concerning copyright and trademark protections, harassment, and sexual misconduct
- Compliant with Emory University Branding Guidelines
- Compliant with Campus Life Technology and Communications Guidelines
- Built on a WordPress foundation
- Directly accessible for administration by a Campus Life employee
- Aggregated under a single domain name
- Administrated by students bound by the Student Code of Conduct and other applicable Policies and Codes
Student organizations may not purchase domain names without the explicit approval of the Campus Life Interactive Communications Developer (CLICD). A record of domain names owned by student organizations must be maintained by the CLICD.
Domain names must be compliant with the following criteria:
- Forwarded to a web property controlled by Emory University (i.e. the student organization’s URL under the domain that contains aggregated student organization websites)
- The intended use of the name is within the scope implied by the name
Exceptions to these criteria may be granted by the Campus Life Interactive Communications Developer.
Themes, Plugins, and the Fifty-Fifty Program
We’re confident in the themes and plugins that we’ve made available on EmoryLife, but there’s always room for improvement. If your organization can’t find a theme or plugin that meets your needs, here’s what you can do:
- search the WordPress Theme Directory or the WordPress Plugin Directory for a free theme or plugin and fill out the request form to have it added to EmoryLife
- themes and plugins that are added will become available to every website on EmoryLife (exceptions are granted to divisional councils, governing bodies, and university-wide organizations)
- if you can’t find free theme or plugin, search Themeforest for a premium theme or CodeCanyon for a premium plugin
The Fifty-Fifty Program
If you’ve found a premium theme or plugin that will add value to EmoryLife, the Student Government Executive Board will provide 50% of the funding for the premium purchase, if your request is approved. Fifty-fifty purchases are subject to these guidelines:
- premium items must differ significantly from free offerings available on the web
- premium items must add value through functionality unavailable through free means or unavailable without the investment of significant effort
- once purchased, premium items must be made available to all sites on EmoryLife
- exceptions are granted to divisional councils, governing bodies, and university-wide organizations
Mailchimp for Divisional Councils, Governing Bodies, and University-Wide Organizations
Mailchimp makes building beautiful, individualized emails extremely easy. The service has built-in templates and a drag-and-drop interface, along with features like mail merge for hyper-individualization.
List-serves are terrible for communication, and sending all-division or all-student emails requires several layers of approval. We’ve created a streamlined process with a few guidelines to make communicating with your constituents a whole lot easier:
- Eligible organizations can send four (4) division-wide and two (2) university-wide emails per semester
- University-wide organizations can send four (4) university-wide emails per semester
- Communication officers and presidents in eligible organizations will receive credentials that will allow them to create and edit emails and view reports
- once an email is ready to send, a staff member in OSLS will approve the email and press ‘go’
- Permission to exceed the send limits will be granted on a case-by-case basis by OSLS
The only trade-off with Mailchimp is that students have the ability to unsubscribe. That’s why we’re doing our best to ensure that we’re using this resource responsibly, and always trying to send extremely valuable, relevant emails.
The ‘Get Involved’ Opportunity Portal
Tired of browsing Facebook, sending emails, and meeting with staff members about how to get involved? We were, too. That’s why we created the ‘Get Involved’ opportunity portal. It’s a central place for Student Organizations, Administrators, and Governing Bodies to post opportunities. You can apply, upload a resume, and track your application all in one place.
The portal has a searchable ‘opportunity board’ with filters for the type of opportunity or leadership position, notifications when new postings are available, resume and application management, and a whole lot more. If you’re trying to manage applications, it has a built-in system for you and your team to rate candidates, review resumes, and track or update the status of individual applications.
Push Notifications through App.net Broadcast
We’re always searching for new platforms and services that will enhance our communications portfolio and add value for subscribers. We’ve found a service that will allow people to opt-in to receive push notifications from SGA on their smartphones, giving us a new communications tool somewhere in-between email and social media posts.
The benefit to this platform, and the companion application, is that any individual or organization can create a ‘Broadcast Channel’ and send notifications of their own to their subscribers. If you’re part of a student organization, we’d like you to help us promote our channel and encourage students to download the application. While you’re at it, you’re encouraged to create a Broadcast Channel of your own, and we’re happy to spread the word about it, too.
Start receiving "Emory Student Government" Broadcast updates now:
Subscribe on App.net