‘The Hub’ gives MU portal a modern look

Erin Almeter, Staff writer

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Over the summer, what once was known as the Mercyhurst Student Portal transitioned into the Hub. Students were first notified of this change when an email was sent out in early July. It has been a work in progress for a couple of years according to Hannah Cox, the Director of IT Client Services.

Cox and Ivan Palikuca, Mercyhurst System Administrator, spearheaded the online change and implementation for current students. Cox also gives credit for the renovated Portal to any department that has a page on the Hub, as every department puts on their own content for students to use more easily.

The Hub is connected to Microsoft SharePoint which has a sleek and easy to use design for both users and editors of the pages. In addition to the frequently used features such as Self Service and Blackboard, The Hub displays the most recent news and announcements.

If students download Microsoft SharePoint on their phone they will also find that it is very mobile friendly. Once signed in, students can see their frequent sites and most recent files as well as any other news. While not a one-for-one replacement of the old Mercyhurst app, due to not all of the features being available, the SharePoint app works much smoother than the old app, Cox explained.

The main student page on the Hub is managed by Campus Involvement. Cox explained that this is due to the fact that they have all the events scheduled for students constantly updated. It was necessary to keep that page student-centric for students’ interests.

A calendar is shown that has almost all the events that are happening on campus, including club meetings and sporting events. If students continue scrolling on the page, there are also the most recent social media updates. These dynamic components help students to follow different departments which is something the Portal did not have, according to Cox.

Much of the feedback has been positive from the student body. The accessibility and availability of everything in once place made the transition easier for students.

“It looks nicer than the Portal did and despite not using it a ton, I am enjoying the calendar of events,” senior Intelligence Studies major, Haley Mullin, said. “The Hub is helpful as it consolidates all the needed information.”

For some upperclassmen, it may be difficult to switch from something familiar to something that is unfamiliar.

Heather Balas, Director of the Career Development Center, praised the new Hub design as well.

“It is easy to customize and is a way that more resources can be provided to the students,” Balas said. “Visually, it is more appealing as well.”

Cox’s navigation tips for students would be to use the search bar when looking for something specific, rather than moving throughout all of the tabs.

If you do not have hub.mercyhurst.edu bookmarked for easier access, it is recommended that students do that as soon as possible as well as download the SharePoint app.

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