WEB EXTRA: Shakour now says Trader site will be up by month’s end

First, he told students it would be ready in August. Then, he said it would be ready in October. Now, Student Association President Audai Shakour is assuring students that the Colonial Trader Web site, a pillar of his campaign, should be ready by late November.

Despite paying $11,000 to Web site developing company SwapSwop in August to develop the trading Web site, the online portal has still not been launched. Shakour said last week that the site, which would be used for swapping, networking and posting sales, is “supposed to be up by November 23.” Assuming the site is launched Nov. 23, it would be online more than two and a half months after initially promised.

“Right now, the developer is having problems with the Web site,” said sophomore Casey Pond, the SA executive’s vice president of public affairs. “If we take our time, the Web site will be much better.”

Although most SA senators are in favor of having the site, some SA officials have become frustrated with the delay of its launch.

“We have been pretty understanding, but someone needs to be held responsible,” said sophomore Elliot Gillerman (ESIA-U), a sophomore.

“We have given him time and we have not seen any results,” Gillerman added.

In an e-mail to The Hatchet, SwapSwop blamed the delay on the University for being slow to process a check over the summer as well as technical difficulties ensuring the features on the site worked properly.

“There was a delay in establishing the contract between GW and SwapSwop to develop the Web site,” said SwapSwop Chief Financial Officer David Cole in an e-mail. “Significant progress has been made since contract signature, but there were also development bugs that are normal with any systems development.”

Despite the complications, SwapSwop is confident that the site will be up and running soon with at least partial functionality.

Shakour released a pilot of the Web site to SA officials and The Hatchet earlier this month. The SA’s plan is to use the Web site as a prototype to sell to other colleges and universities around the country to reimburse the SA for the costs of the site.

When launched, the site would include a trading platform that students could use to post sales, Web logs, message board comments, apartment listings, party announcements and study groups.

“(The site) has all of the functionalities that GW students could want,” said Shakour, who is facing the threat of impeachment from senators upset with what they perceive to be his poor performance (see Three signatures temporarily spare SA president from impeachment, p. 1). “It will make everyday life easier.”

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