Weather-Related Announcements (Or, Where To Find Information When You’re Hoping For A Snow Day)

Well, winter weather is upon us — and whether you’re elated or heartbroken by today’s snowflakes, it’s a good time to review Hope’s process for making weather-related decisions and announcements.

A decision to close campus offices and cancel classes is typically announced prior to 6:30 a.m. In the *rare* event that offices are closed and classes are cancelled, you can find the announcement in the following places:

  • Hope website: The announcement will be posted on edu/alertand InHope.
  • Media: The announcement will be shared with local media, including WTHS radio and WOOD, WZZM and WWMT television stations.
  • Text alert: The announcement will be issued via the HOPE ALERT emergency text messaging system. Please take a few minutes to verify that your emergency contact information is current by doing the following:
    > Go to hope.edu.
    > Select “Personal Information.”
    > Select “Update Emergency Contacts.” Your name (Relationship: Self) and cell phone number 
entered as an Emergency Contact will register you to receive HOPE ALERT messages.

When weather-related closures/cancellations occur, essential personnel (Campus Safety staff, plow drivers, etc.) are expected to report if at all possible. If unsure whether you are expected to report, please contact your supervisor directly.

For those crews that report to work between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., please use good judgment in determining whether it is safe for you to travel in for work. Notify your supervisor of your situation and stay alert for later announcements.

Bundle up, stay warm and enjoy the Michigan winter!

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Update on the Hope Blog Network

We’re excited to share a few things in the works for Hope blogs. As we continue our work with compliance and web accessibility, we’ll soon introduce a revised design and other enhancements to the entire Hope College Blog Network. Although this is not a full redesign, it will include a new color palette and other style elements that emphasize better contrast and legibility.

We’ve also added a new custom byline for posts that include the author and date and appears between the post title and body. To customize the name of the author, use the custom field “custom_byline.”

The design improvements will be rolled out this week, so let us know if you notice anything that doesn’t seem quite right, and we’ll look into it right away. You can report problems to the Web Communications team at web@hope.edu.

Additionally, the update will include a brand-new blogs.hope.edu homepage, which will feature highlighted blog posts and an easier way to navigate the blog directory.

Finally for our blog admins, in either mid-December 2018 or early January 2019, we plan to host a lunch-and-learn about the Hope blog network. We’ll discuss these new changes, provide insights about WordPress features and engaging blog page design, and just give admins an opportunity to share ideas with each other and us. We’ve not done this in a while so it will be a great time to come together as blog administrators.

Let us know what you think of the updated theme!

A mock-up of the updated Hope College Blog Network theme
A mock-up of the updated Hope College Blog Network theme

Tips for Campus-Wide Communication

As the semester is underway, we thought we would share some helpful information and suggestions about campus-wide communication. Let us know if you have questions or if we can be helpful in any way!

Campusmail

WHAT IS CAMPUSMAIL?

  • Campusmail is the Hope College moderated system for sending email messages to large sections of the campus community (e.g., all faculty, all employees, all students).
  • If you have an event or information that is useful to the greater Hope community, you may send a Campusmail. The message must be Hope-related and originate from a faculty or staff Hope email address.
  • Campusmails are distributed three times per weekday by Public Affairs and Marketing.

HOW TO SEND A CAMPUSMAIL

  • From your faculty or staff Hope email account, send your message to campusmail@hope.edu.
  • Include a helpful subject line and your intended recipients (e.g., all employees, only faculty, etc.). Also include a CAMPUSMAIL DISTRIBUTION header.

To:  campusmail@hope.edu
Subject: Join us for Special Event on 10/1

(Send to all Faculty)

CAMPUSMAIL DISTRIBUTION (from Jane Doe)

You are invited to a Special Event on 10/1….

NOTES ABOUT CAMPUSMAIL

  • Attachments and images are not permitted due to technical limitations with Campusmail. Instead, add your information to Google Drive and include a link in your email.
  • Using an email platform like MailChimp or Constant Contact to draft your email and then sending a single message to Campusmail for distribution violates those companies’ terms of service.
  • Regular messages to students or specific targeted groups of students (e.g., all Philosophy majors) are handled through the Studentmail system (studentmail@hope.edu), coordinated by the Office of the Registrar.

inHope

  • inHope is Hope College’s intranet and is only accessible to individuals who have a hope.edu email address.
  • inHope includes campus announcements, news, events, employee and student directories, Marketplace and links to common campus resources and services.
  • To submit an inHope announcement, complete the announcement form and determine how long you want your announcement to stay active.

Calendar

  • The Hope College Calendar is a publicly accessible master list of events. Events on the calendar also appear on inHope, department websites, and digital signage.
  • To post your event on the calendar:
    • Make your campus room reservation through EMS.
    • Select ‘Yes’ to display this event on the Hope College public calendar.
    • Include descriptive text in the “Event Details” section of the room reservation.
    • Approved events typically appear on the campus calendar in 1–2 business days.
  • List all of your department events on the calendar, even if attendance is not open to the public. If your event is invite-only, do not post your event.
  • Promote your event by emailing more information and/or a custom photo to calendar@hope.edu.
  • For assistance with room reservations, contact the Events and Conferences Office (events@hope.edu, 616.395.7222).

Please send any questions about Campusmail, inHope and the Calendar to Public Affairs and Marketing (marketing@hope.edu, 616.395.7860).

Web Accessibility Training video and presentation materials

Thank you to those of you who were able to join us for our Web Accessibility Training session in August! For those of you who were unable to attend or would like a refresher, below are links to a video of the presentation as well as the presentation materials.

Thank you for your support in making the Hope College website accessible to all of our visitors! Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions.

Accessibility Updates Coming to hope.edu

You may be aware of the ongoing efforts to address website accessibility as it pertains to the Hope College website (hope.edu) and our other web properties. In addition to the new Web Accessibility Policy and Web Accessibility Training recently offered, we will soon be introducing a revised design and other enhancements to the Hope website to address several issues related to color contrast and further optimizing the site to be used more effectively by screen readers and other assistive technologies.

Tip: if you notice a hope.edu webpage not loading correctly, try clearing your browser’s cache

You’ll notice these design improvements taking place in the coming days and weeks. Please note that web content editors will not be required to take additional steps to implement these updates to your department websites, as long as your site is using the new template. If you do notice something that does not seem to be functioning correctly, please let us know right away.

We always welcome your questions and feedback as we work to make the Hope website an inclusive and accessible space for all of our visitors.

The new hope.edu accessible web design
The new hope.edu accessible web design
The new Hope College Calendar design
The new Hope College Calendar design

Summer office hours sign

In celebration of our new summer office hours (Hooray! Thanks Human Resources!), we created a simple office hours sign and thought we would share it with the rest of campus! Feel free to print it and hang it outside your office as necessary.

Download the sign

Web Accessibility Training coming in August

As you may have heard, we’ve implemented a new Hope College Web Accessibility Policy. Additionally, we are offering web accessibility training this summer to educate those of us who are involved in editing Hope webpages. We strongly encourage our web content editors to attend.

Our first Web Accessibility Training session will be held on Thursday, August 16 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Haworth Center Ballroom I & II with a free lunch to follow.

The training will be led by Jeremy Abrahams who is a senior developer, UX strategist, and accessibility specialist from Mighty in the Midwest in Grand Rapids.

If you are unable to attend, a video recording and presentation materials will be made available.

Please RSVP using this form to let us know if you’ll be attending or if you’d like the video and materials sent to you.

If you have student workers who work on the website and are available, you are welcome to encourage them to attend as well.

We look forward to this time of learning, please let us know if you have any questions at web@hope.edu.

Web Accessibility Policy

Dear campus community,

We’re writing today to give you an update on website accessibility as it relates to the Hope College website, hope.edu. Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent people with disabilities from interacting with or accessing websites, so that all users have equal access to information and functionality. Hope College (and other colleges and universities) are required to have accessible websites, which is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

Hope College is required to develop and post a Web Accessibility Policy, outlining a technical compliance standard and describing how Hope will ensure accessibility of our web content. This email serves as notification to the campus community of this policy.

View the Hope College Web Accessibility Policy on the college policy page or feel free to contact Jason Cash in Public Affairs and Marketing for a hard copy of this information.

Later this year we will begin to offer and require web accessibility training for all campus web content editors. We will provide more information about that in the coming months.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Jason Cash
Director of Web Communications and Interim Web Accessibility Coordinator

Sara Dorer
Equal Opportunity and Compliance Coordinator

Coach. Clutch Player. Coworker. Courtney Kust!

That is my goal in this job — to shape the players to be the best version of themselves and while we’re at it, help the team win a few games.” — Courtney Kust ’13

It’s a reality of team dynamics in the workplace: You have those who are natural coaches. You have those who are natural clutch players. And then, you have those individuals who are both — individuals who are able to rally the team, make the tough decision and call the play just as well as they are able to make the assist, take the shot and grab the rebound. The Public Affairs and Marketing Division is blessed to have that rare combination in Courtney Kust ’13, who serves as an assistant coach for the Hope women’s basketball team and an events and conferences manager for the Hope campus community.

Today, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association named Courtney to its 2018 “Thirty Under 30” Class — a distinction that recognizes 30 up-and-coming women’s basketball coaches age 30 and under at all levels of the game.

Assistant Coach Courtney Kust in action

Courtney’s coworkers know that she is a rock star. Now, the WBCA agrees, and we couldn’t be happier. We are really, really proud of Courtney… and we just have to boast a little because, well, we know she’s not going to.

Courtney leads with integrity, passion and commitment. She is determined and hardworking, and is never willing to give less than her all. In the Events and Conferences Office, Courtney develops and coordinates conferences and camps here at Hope. She also oversees student workers in the audio-visual booth for athletic events, summer housing events and first responders. On the court, Courtney assists Coach Brian Morehouse in leading a team of strong, focused athletes who, this year, finished their season with a strong run to the Elite Eight… #GoHope!

Last week, I was in a meeting that opened with a prayer called “Liturgy for Those Who Compete.” The prayer concludes with the following words:

Let me model what it is to be
one fiercely focused on, and invested in,
the drama at hand,
pushing myself always towards the goal,
and yet ever extending
a humility and graciousness
in keeping with my status
as your servant, O Christ.

As I heard those words, I couldn’t help but think of Courtney, who shared the following when she learned about the award:

“Coaching at Hope definitely has God’s fingerprints all over it. Never in a million years did I think I would be back at Hope, but the opportunity came and I couldn’t resist the chance to be a part of the women’s basketball program again. I have loved building relationships with the players and being a source of encouragement and positivity in their lives. That is my goal in this job — to shape the players to be the best version of themselves and while, we’re at it, help the team win a few games.”

Courtney, you are a clutch player for the entire Hope College team, and we are so grateful for everything you do to help us all become better versions of ourselves. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor! #FireUp!

New options for website news content

In addition to our behind-the-scenes change to improve Open Graph tags, we also made a more noticeable change that some of you may have already seen on your websites.

As you may remember, Hope’s web pages have had the option to display in the right sidebar the most recent hope.edu/news press release associated with a department or office:

Now, this field will display the most recent hope.edu/news item associated with a department or office. This may include a press release, blog post, news story from an external media source, tweet, Instagram photo or YouTube video. Here’s an example of what it looks like with a tweet:

We hope that by expanding the potential pool of media items to draw from, this content will be more current and relevant to students, and will showcase the variety of content available on our news page.

A few things to note:

  • If a department doesn’t have the news option enabled on their site, this change will not affect their pages.
  • If a department would rather that certain media types not appear, we can turn off any, or all, of them (we recommend leaving them all on).
  • This field will continue to pull only hope.edu/news content, which is curated by Public Affairs & Marketing. In many cases, there’s content out there that we choose to not add to our news page, which means that it won’t show up in that field. It also won’t automatically display the latest post from, for example, a blogs.hope.edu account.

We think you’ll like the change!