Web developer Caleb Schwarze works at the ITS office in the Anderson Center. | Photo by Jake Van Loh

Web services launches new student portal

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MyBethel server replaces “outdated” Blink.

By Aidan Ruch and Sarah Nelson

The new student portal, MyBethel, launched on Sept. 26, replacing the 10-year-old Blink website with a different look and new features.

Some of the features include the ability to look at one’s personal profile as well as a tools and resources page. The portal also offers fewer channels, which, according to a MyBethel instructional video provided by the Office of Marketing, was created to provide easier access to Bethel’s offices on the website.

Students can also now easily access important information pertaining to their academics, BSG, student life, pay stubs/time sheets or Sodexo’s menu.

The process to replace Blink was two years in the making, according to Web Development and Applications Manager Eric Jameson. Jameson lead the development of the project while working with the marketing department for the content and design of the site. Bethel students Tim Heck, Boston Knighton-Johnson and Grant Gapinski also helped with the development.

The creation of MyBethel officially started last spring, and the project lasted a total of seven months.

Blink is outdated technology running on an old server. It also requires a lot of time to upkeep,” Jameson said. “MyBethel is much more lightweight and runs on a newer server. We also no longer will have to pay for the software that runs Blink, which will save us a lot of money in the long run.”

Jacob Manning, a register and project specialist, stated one of the problems with Blink is the fact that the server could not support many links to other pages. MyBethel, he says, will allow more links to increase access to other pages. He hopes the transition will prove to be faster and more efficient for students.

“Some things are still in progress, as this is the first launch of MyBethel and some things could change,” Manning said. “We’re still working with the IT and marketing team to make things better and better and you can expect it to look cool and be really slick. And hopefully, when you call us for a question, you will be able to know where things are instead of navigating multiple pages in Blink.”

Looking to the future, Manning said MyBethel will not only benefit current students, but hopefully attract prospective students.

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