Unless you’ve been living under a rock this year, you have no doubt discovered the renovated MyUCDavis software suite and explored at least some of its customization options. Its main feature are movable “tiles” (reminiscent of the old My Yahoo and iGoogle) that have different student advising and entertainment services attached to them. It’s pretty thorough, except for one glaring omission: athletics.
Now, I love the new MyUCDavis. I’ve used the old site of the same name, as well as UCLA’s student site, and this new one is definitely on a different level. But the fact that it hardly includes any content on Aggie sports is unforgivable if we want to take our sports program, and indeed the university, seriously. If the site is supposed to be a one-stop page for all important UCD information, then what does it say about our school pride that athletics isn’t included?
Now, admittedly there is something called Aggie Feed (with the cool old CA logo) that posts some game times along with other upcoming campus events. But it seems more like a rote auto-updating calendar (which it is) than an actual mechanism to build hype and highlight success. It doesn’t take advantage of the wealth of content that the university should publish (or sometimes already has) featuring highlight reals, game recaps, player profiles, and promotional videos. When I log into MyUCDavis to check my schedule or browse advising services, I also want to catch up on the latest Aggie victory — something that’s impossible with the current setup.
And we actually have things to highlight. Our soccer, cross country and volleyball teams were dominant in the fall season. Women’s Basketball played the biggest Aggie game ever. Men’s Basketball is undefeated at the time of this writing. We have a football team that… well, we have a football team. So let’s hear about them.
The counterargument is that athletics is entertainment, whereas the site is academics-oriented. Which totally falls apart when one takes a glance at some of the more obscure tiles. A news app that posts stories from around the country can at least claim to be useful, and “Word of the Day” will supposedly help build vocabulary, but one tile is blatantly entertainment. This is of course the “Agventure” app, where you can select from directional commands (like a multiple-choice version of Zork) to play as a lost student or, amusingly, a hungry Davis squirrel.
Once we’ve established that MyUCDavis can be entertainment, then there is no longer a viable reason to deny a tile for athletics, which is at its core a very thorough and expensive student entertainment service. If the university has spent so much time, effort, and student fees in preserving our program through school financial troubles, then surely the very least it can do is publicize the fruits of that investment on the main student site.
But no, a multiple-choice RPG where you play as a squirrel has higher priority than our Division I athletics program. And you wonder why students don’t go to games.