Are you tired of self-congratulatory press releases and countdown clocks from the College? Are you a freshman who wants to be down with the College lingo? Need a cure for that vicious hangover? Looking for the perfect online game to keep you from starting a huge project or paper?
If so, you aren’t alone. Luckily, thanks to two students, there’s a great new Web site to set as your personal homepage – TCNJ Daily Jolt.
The site, launched this fall and run by sophomore psychology major Liz Goldstein and junior psychology major Kristin Thonack features numerous ways to connect with the campus and surrounding community.
Goldstein first came into contact with Daily Jolt while applying to colleges. When it came down to crunch time, she visited Jolts from her top choices to post questions on the forums and help her make an informed decision. She began working on a College version in September 2003 and planned to launch it in January 2004. However, she postponed it after taking off the spring semester.
Thonack, on the other hand, discovered Daily Jolt while searching for summer jobs at JoltCamps, a Web site providing job leads for college students. This led her to Daily Jolt, and upon contacting headquarters, she learned that Goldstein was already in the midst of site production.
Thus, their partnership was born. They communicated through e-mail throughout the summer and met for the first time at the beginning of the semester. Since then, they have been hard at work promoting the Jolt by chalking and papering the campus with advertisements.
The Jolt features a number of convenient links that provide information on all aspects of life here at the College. Students can access the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus for Eickhoff Dining Hall, which are updated daily. They can view schedules for the campus library, computer labs, heath services and career services. They can link directly to their Webmail accounts, the Simple Online Courseware System (SOCS), The Electorinic Student Services menu (TESS), RES.net and the financial aid office.
But most importantly, the Jolt provides an up-to-the-minute calendar of events taking place both on campus and in the surrounding area.
“I thought TCNJ could really use an online campus hub,” Goldstein said. “There’s so much going on around here, but it’s hard to keep track, and most people don’t even realize the wealth of events taking place each day. Even though the official College Web site has made marked improvements, it still isn’t geared towards students alone.”
Thonack agreed, “People really like it, especially freshmen, because it lists all of these events in one place,” she said. Unfortunately, TCNJ has this reputation as a suitcase school. But it’s nice to know that there is civilization around Ewing.”
The Jolt also offers forums to debate hot campus issues and to meet other students. Recently, topics within the forums have ranged from the Sodexho’s Carte Blanche program to the speed of the College’s Internet system.
The Jolt also provides tons of links under its “Procrastinate” section. Here, students can waste the day away playing online beer pong, learning the 20 best ways to annoy their roommate or even engage in an online staring contest.
In addition, students can read and submit humorous professor quotes and view pictures from campus events. Also, the “Freshman Disorientation” section provides the College’s newest additions an amusing glimpse into life at the College.
Beyond information pertaining to the College, visitors to the Jolt can also visit pages for other local schools, such as Rutgers University, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, New York University and Pennsylvania State University. However, Daily Jolt isn’t just a local thing.
“The Jolt is a nationwide network of about 100 campuses,” Goldstein said. “This allows the Jolters to collaborate and come up with cool ideas.”
For example, this fall there will be a nationwide Halloween costume contest. Students can submit pictures of themselves to their campus Jolt, with the winner from each school being moved up to the national contest.
“The winners of the national contest generally win an amazing prize, like a Spring Break vacation,” Goldstein said.
In order to keep the Web site updated, Goldstein and Thonack are required to spend a few hours on it each day. They are responsible for adding events, typing up menus, coming up with polls and generally making sure that the site continues to run smoothly. However, they said all of the work is worth it because, as they are pleased to report, “the feedback has been incredible.”
Members of the campus community can check out Goldstein and Thonack’s Web site at tcnj.dailyjolt.com.