Update UT websites through work studies

Rocío Del Toro, Columnist

Austin is a fast-growing tech hub, and with it more students are pursuing computer science. UT’s undergraduate computer science program has been ranked No. 10 in the nation and clearly has exceptional students.     

Many of UT’s websites however, do not mirror this advancement and are in dire need of updating. For example, even though the UT Direct site is a frequent portal that many students use to access course catalogs and degree audits, it can be confusing to navigate and lacks content that was once available but not kept up with. It’s time for an upgrade.

Many students working to offset the price of college don’t get to work jobs relating to their major. However, UT has a clear opportunity at hand for students to fund their education while also benefiting the University technologically. UT should create a work-study position for computer science students dedicated to updating University websites.

Christine Gauger, assistant director for federal and state programs, was able to better explain how positions for work-study are conducted through UT. 

“Any on-campus department’s offices can post work-study jobs,” Gauger said. “They are able to hire Workday students, they put them through HireUTexas and they can post both work-study and non-work-study positions. It would be up to the departments to hire the students for work-study. It’s open to any student, and (students) can also go to HireUTexas to search for jobs.”  

If it is up to UT departments and offices to choose what positions they post for work-study, what is stopping UT Direct from posting job listings for students to help them upgrade their service? It’s abundantly clear that UT has both a need for the task and the students capable of completing it. 

“There’s plenty of CS students that have a lot of talent who’ve made incredible things in their own time,” computer science senior Keegan Franklin said. “Being able to update UT’s websites is a really good idea, giving (computer science students) something to do and a paycheck, as a lot of the projects that they do in their own time are pretty much just passed on projects and they don’t get paid for it at all.”

Having a work-study position that can offer real world experience and a resume boost would clearly benefit the capable and hard-working computer science student population at UT. It would also benefit the University directly, both by receiving updated online services and showing that student advancement is a priority.

The first thing you see when you open UT’s main website is “What starts here changes the world.” UT needs to, and is capable of, showing that this is true by prioritizing the functionality of their web services and the computer science students that can help them get there.

Del Toro is a philosophy sophomore from Round Rock, Texas.