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Week of 21 November 1997

Vol. I, No. 13

Feature Article

Orientation Web site wins national award

by Brian Fitzgerald

Boston University's Orientation Web site is drawing interest not only from prospective BU students, but also from the National Orientation Directors Association, which presented the Orientation Office with an award at its annual conference November 1 to 4 in Denver, Colo.

The Web site won the award for "Outstanding Non-Print Media and Emerging Technology Publication." Entries for this year's contest were received from 251 colleges in the United States and Canada. Accepting the accolade on behalf of the University was Maureen Hurley, director of the Office of Orientation and Off-Campus Services (OOCS). She is also director of BU's Community Service Center.

The first image that appears on BU's Orientation Web site (www.bu.edu/ORIENTATION) is a scarlet "Welcome!" in front of a color photo of the Tsai Performance Center entrance. That photo, along with other color pictures of campus scenes and orientation advisors, helps make the design "appealing and interesting," says computer science major Matthew Boggie (CAS'99), who, along with Michael Murphy (CAS, SED'98), designed, produced, and maintains the site.

BU's first Orientation Web site debuted in June 1996. "We've done a lot with it since then," says Boggie. "After using a scanner to include photos, we came up with a new design last summer."

"BU Experience," a series of essays by freshmen and their parents on the transition to college life, was included in the new design. "The Orientation Office uses these impressions in its booklet, so we figured that it would be perfect for the Web site," says Boggie.

The Web site also includes a submission form for questions and a list of frequently asked questions and their answers. In addition, students can register for orientation online. "It's much more interactive than it was a year ago," says Craig Mack, assistant director of OOCS.

The Orientation Office runs fall, winter, and spring orientation programs, along with special orientations for commuter and transfer students.