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By Matthew Le Blanc

Originally costing $35,000, the Mohawk Students’ Association says the unreleased MSA and Satellite websites are currently under budget. As a gesture of good faith, Square Crop, the company developing the sites, has reduced the price by $5,000.

“Square Crop Studios had issues with the programming team that they hired,” says MSA’s Marketing and Communications Manager Stephen Kosh. “The issues they faced were private and are now being dealt with legally. They have since hired a new programming team including a proven programming technician and are back on track and confident of a January launch.”

To further show their appreciation, Square Crop waived all hosting fees for the first three years, a savings of $35,000.

Both MSA President Kathleen Cullen and Kosh had an opportunity to visit Square Crop’s production office last week to witness the site’s current level of functionality.

“Of course, there is still work to be completed, but it was definitely an encouraging meeting to put our minds at ease and finally witness progress,” Kosh says.

Originally, the MSA hoped to be the first students’ association in North America to have a site with social capabilities. However, because of the setbacks, the Fanshawe Student Union was able to launch their site back in September, claiming the bragging rights. Now the MSA is focusing on making their site as functional as possible before launch.

“The platform that the FSU is using is missing much of the functionality and more so the safety features that the MSA site will have,” says Kosh. “This was a staple of the MSA site as we have to ensure the safety and security of our students at all times. We were not willing to jeopardize that feature, and some of the others, to move to a platform that was simple ‘ready’.”

Kosh believes the sites will still be a hit despite their release dates and stands behind their main purpose.

“Although there is a substantial investment in website development, it’s the future of the MSA,” says Kosh. “Both of these sites that the MSA has invested in are platforms which have future plans and abilities for expansions. The day of the stereotypical ‘static’ website is gone.”

Both sites were originally expected to launch at the beginning of the fall semester. The Satellite’s website is currently on schedule for a Nov. 19 launch, with the MSA’s anticipated after the Christmas break.

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