Last updated: Oct. 5, 2006, 10 p.m.

In an astounding show of modernism, the Student Union at the University of Bath has collected pretty much all of the administration onto a website. "Brilliant" I hear you say, well you'd be right if the website actually worked. Apart from anything else, the homepage weighs in at upwards of 200KB according to my palmtop. Now compare this with my own home page, a mere 10-20KB. "What does homepage size matter in these days of broadband internet communication?" I hear you ask. Well, broadband may indeed be prolific these days, but I would stop short of saying it was the rule. Also I would like to point out that there are a large number of people such as myself who have portable devices such as palm-tops and smart-phones wanting to access the web, and having large websites that take a long time to download and process is not helpful.

However, I could live with a big and ugly website if it was functional. It is not. When I joined at the start of this semester, I tried to go in and sort out some additional details, such as a second email address etc. However when I filled in the form as far as I could and clicked submit, I got one of two results, seemingly at random. Either I received the message "invalid parameter(s)", or I was told I had to fill in another "compulsory field" which was set to and disabled.

Since it was time for members to start signing up again, things have gone from bad to worse. As webmaster for one of the SU Societies, I was hoping I would be able to sort out my own members' details. However I have been given the rights of an "Editor", meaning that I can edit the diary events and that's about it. Only the people in charge of the Students Union have the "Owner"; privileges that allow creation of admins and management of members. It also became apparent that there were still links available to allow people to request membership of societies from the days when the societies themselves could sign people up. Now everyone must go to an "eShop" to join, this in itself is not a problem, but it isn't clearly apparent that this is what you have to do, which is a problem.

In summary the site is clumsy, unstable and above all painfully slow, and the SU's official policy is that no society should need there own website. Thankfully we ignored this policy and have an effective and functional website independent of the university.



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