On Friday, January 5, 2018, the SAU student-run newspaper, The Falcon Forum launched a fully redesigned website. The redesign transformed the digital news platform into a fully responsive experience, able to be viewed with ease on any desktop or mobile device.
The Falcon Forum website, which was originally launched in October 2012, began as a project for students in a media and communications course taught by Professor Daniel Holly. The students in the class completely managed the development of the site, reviewing existing student newspaper websites and using their observations and studies to inform the framework of the site.
The Falcon Forum website has a print counterpart which was rolled out in February 2015. The digital and print versions of the SAU student newspaper have some similarities; but, the two are not exactly alike. Most of the content for the newspaper also appears on the website, but there is a considerable amount of content that is prepared specifically for the website. Furthermore, while the newspaper is printed monthly, the website is updated much more frequently -- at least once a week when students are in school.
Professor Holly continues his involvement with the paper and serves as the faculty advisor. He stated:
"I'm happy to announce the redesigned Falcon Forum website. It had not changed much since it launched in 2012 and an extensive redesign was badly needed. The new website has several new features that make it more appealing and more up-to-date, for instance it has a carousel at the top that shows off all of our top stories in a visually attractive way. Something I'm really happy about is that the new website has a responsive design, meaning the look automatically changes depending on whether you're looking at it on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. So it's more in line with the way students consume online news these days."
The Falcon Forum, whether in newspaper or website form, is an informative resource for the University and provides practical, hands-on experience for students pursuing a career in journalism, media, and communications. Student-journalists cover campus news and events, and the entire student body is invited to submit stories to the Opinion column, which covers everything from entertainment to current events.
Jazmin Powell, a senior communications major and the news editor for the Falcon Forum, is also excited about the benefits of the new website. She stated:
"The new and improved format for www.thefalconforum.com is a huge step into expanding what SAU's student news publication offers. The changes made show that our communications department works hard to keep the campus community updated with newsworthy information. While the new format not only provides an updated look, most importantly, it also is very user-friendly. It provides sleek viewing via smartphone and tablet devices which students view most often. When students view the website now they should find viewing much more enjoyable."
to see the new website and keep up with the happenings of Saint Augustine's University as reported by SAU students.
While the newspaper and website are run chiefly by students in the Media and Communications Department, any student can become part of the Falcon Forum staff. Meetings are held every Tuesday at 11 a.m. in Hunter 109. The first meeting for the spring semester will be January 16. Photographers and page designers are also welcome -- no experience is necessary.