About UVM Bored:
Based at the University of Vermont (Burlington, VT), UVM Bored was also a finalist in the 2012 Readers' Choice Awards for "Best Site for Students by Students." In 2013, however, UVM Bored knocked it out of the park. Emerging with a significant percentage of reader votes, the online site emerged as the clear leader.
The site aims to counter the perception that there's "nothing to do" at any given time on campus (or in the larger Burlington area). As their site notes, "There's a lot going on at UVM, in Burlington and beyond. We (a team of UVM students) keep you up-to-date with the latest events, promos and fun stuff to do, on + off campus."
The UVM Bored student staff advertises itself as "a group of UVM students who are in the know about all the cool things happening on and off campus. We love UVM, living in Burlington and spreading the word about fun stuff to do."
The resource has been around for quite some time, too -- the initiative began 17 years ago in 1996. UVM Bored described their foundation in an interview with About.com. "[UVM Bored] was founded in the late 80s and was originally a voicemail that was dispatched to phones in UVM's residence halls," they note. "When the Internet went mainstream in 1996, the site was a basic HTML page. In 2010, a team of students was established to support the move to a more dynamic (and accessible) content management system." And as they note on the UVM Bored website, "Today the calendar is visited about 100,000/year," demonstrating that the site clearly is meeting a need within the UVM community.
From its humble beginnings, the site continues to grow. "The growth of the student-led team has resulted in more great events on the calendar and also the expansion of the brand into social media," they proudly say. "We currently operate a Facebook page, Twitter account, Pinterest boards, Instagram feed, WordPress blog, and collaborate with campus and community partners to generate content for our Vimeo and email initiatives."
The future looks exciting as well. The organization has "a few projects lined up so far such as a fashion blog called 'The Cat Walk,' showcasing the many different styles within UVM and the surrounding community. We will soon be creating a presence on Tumblr as well. For now, we have been engaging the UVM community through ongoing 'photo of the day' contests on Instagram - all participants have to do is hashtag #uvmpotd and they could win a prize from /bored!" The group also understands the need for working with the larger Burlington community as they continue to grow. "Partnering with Burlington-based Union Street Media to bring our site in a WordPress CMS enabled this expansion as we continue to evolve with technology," they report.
What's not to like about this great service that has grown with technology and student demand, mostly through student initiative, innovation, and good, old-fashioned hard work? As they themselves note: "We creatively and enthusiastically carry out our mission and our service is valued by our community. We aspire to improve and grow with the needs of the UVM student body to remain relevant in our work."
Way to go, UVM Bored! Given that students across the country complain about being bored on campus, this is a shining example of how student efforts and initiative can come up with creative, unique, high-quality solutions to common student problems.
About the Readers' Choice Awards:
Beginning in 2007, multiple Guide Sites across the About.com network have participated in the annual Readers' Choice Awards. Readers are encouraged to vote for their favorite company, service, location, or product through an online voting process. Here on the College Life site, the awards are meant to recognize those services and resources that make college students' lives better -- or at least a little easier.
In particular, the "Best Website for Students by Students" award is meant to recognize the best of the best that students have to offer. College students are a pretty smart bunch -- that's why they're in college, right? And just like some students balance everything from classes and work to family drama and relationships, some students manage and run websites on top of everything else. Some sites might be aimed at providing income for the creator(s); some might be educational in nature; others still might be providing a unique service. No matter their function, however, there are some pretty amazing websites out there that are run for students, by students. As the 2013 winner, UVM Bored, is a great example. Congrats!
(Interested in knowing who UVM Bored had for its competition? Check out the list of other nominees in the "Best Site for Students by Students" category.)