New Internet site spotlights campus activities

Andrew Donohue

University students now have access to everything from carpool bulletin boards to drink specials at their fingertips through a new Internet site.
The national site, at www.collegestudent.com, provides University students with a vehicle to almost all campus happenings. Volunteers both in Minnesota and Texas worked for five months to create the virtual labyrinth of campus information.
The relatively new University site has become an instant success with students.
“Our Minnesota site has seen traffic through the roof,” said Eben Miller, one of the project creators who is still involved with the program. “It is definitely one of our hottest sites.”
Housing listings have grown to become one of the more popular and practical functions. The site contains information on apartments, co-ops, dorms and houses, as well as a page for free postings and browsing.
For academic assistance, students can leave a free posting if they need help or are available to tutor.
Students looking for a ride back home for the weekend or passengers for a spring break trip to Florida can post notices on the site’s popular ride board.
“It is really nice to have around,” said Dan Doepke, College of Liberal Arts freshman. “It is one of the only outlets around to let people know I need a ride.”
All listings can be updated and are automatically dumped from the site after a month to avoid clutter.
Students craving for a guide to the party scene can access a listing of bars and breweries through the site. Visitors to the site can read fellow-student’s reviews of local pubs, or leave their own assessment of the drinks, food and atmosphere. By clicking on the “got beer?” panel, updated drink specials can be accessed through the site’s PubCrawler.
“The site is very useful,” said Mike Paquette, a General College freshman who used the ride board to get a lift to Madison last weekend.
A “fling-a-thing” option of the Web site allows visitors to create their own cards or e-mail to be sent to anybody.
Collegestudent.com provides countless other free services to students, including outdoor and music guides, sports and organization information, as well as job listings and stock market information.
Student-run and funded, the Web site found its beginnings at the University of Texas-Austin more than a year and a half ago behind the work of four students. Originally devoted purely to student housing, the diversity of the site grew with its popularity.
As usage boomed in Austin, the students envisioned a nationwide link containing information centers for universities around the country. Collegestudent.com now offers its services for 20 campuses, ranging from the University of Washington to Florida State University.
All 20 sites have evolved thanks to work of student volunteers stationed on each campus.
Claiming to offer the largest apartment search engine in each college city holding a site, the organization is already building for the future.
The student organization is planning on expanding its services to 100 campuses by the end of the year and is shooting for participation from more than 300 universities in the next 18 to 24 months.