Template talk:University of Massachusetts Amherst

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WikiProject United States / Massachusetts / University of Massachusetts (Rated Template-class)
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Font Change, Formatting[edit]

With all due respect, I would like to propose that the font be changed back to standard-size sans serif. The current font change does not reflect the typeface of the university, has the potential to add additional clutter with the addition of future templates and is otherwise inconsistent with the others currently on the main university page article. The goal of the WikiProject at this time is to expand the university articles under a format not unlike that of the University of Michigan, MIT and Harvard, all of which have relatively clean-cut, well organized templates.
--Ken (talk) 18:57, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

That's undertstandable, but I'd direct you to look at those of the University of Virginia, the University of Maryland, the University of Connecticut, and the University of California, Berkeley --all of which are flagship/prestigious public institutions, like UMass. The point of changing the font is to emphasize the template over the other, secondary templates (for instance, the Hockey East template) and to make the template (and page) more aesthetically pleasing. I am not going to keep changing the font, but I'd ask you to reconsider; I think it looks much more pleasing to the eye and is consistent with other public institutions. Perhaps we can compromise in some way. CampTenDMS (talk) 01:53, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
The template font change looks quite ugly, frankly. I do appreciate the work that you did to the template as it makes it look a lot better but I disagree with the idea that flagship schools should have a different font as off because the font doesn't look good compared to the rest of the Wikipedia font. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 17:27, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Formatting and Content[edit]

Before I give reasons, I want to explain my motives. This project is very important both to the editors as well as the UMass community in that this flagship institution does not receive the same publicity or praise as in other states due to the competition it faces from so many prestigious private institutions being in Massachusetts. For all the credit that can be given to the university's site staff, not all of the history and information of our 30000 student institution is easy to compile or present in one place conveniently and much remains in obscurity. Wikipedia is a place, as I know you are well aware, where anyone can access this information, and at a time when funding is tighter than it has ever been and the university is undergoing many major transitions, it is important that these articles be written and organized in their greatest capacity. You are more than welcome to contribute to articles both new and old, but please be aware that my criticism is coming from the fact that these must be presented in a respectable way. In the future I ask that if you are going to make changes to the formatting of this project that you consult other contributors first before making such changes. Thank you

As for the changes-

I appreciate your having added the tabs for People and Academics as they will go to use. However, having separate sections within a section- how does it add anything to the template that cannot be gathered just by looking at the article titles or the main tab itself? If an article appears that out of place that it needs a second lab, it should be in either another or an entirely different category. At the very least the "Town and Gown Life" has to go, this says nothing about the articles following it.

Secondly, it makes sense for research to have its own template section as UMass has many individual labs, divisions and institutions that do work on research, and most of these are well worth having future articles. To sum it up as a single line, simply saying list of "research labs" and a link back to the university article (that could very well be incorporated into the tab title) is a considerable misrepresentation. I also propose that DEFA film library either be moved to this tab or given another location as, despite its name, it isn't as much an entire library but one of the university's cultural research collections. The three libraries housing such collections in entirety are W.E.B. DuBois Library, the Science and Engineering Library and the Music Reserve Library. Unless another library is listed on the locations page at library.umass.edu, anything else considered a "library" or collection should either go into one of these articles/categories or should be considered a part of one of the university's academic or research programs.

Lastly, Museums10 is related to UMass in that it is a collaboration run under Five Colleges Inc., but it is not organized by the university itself, only the Museum of Contemporary Arts is. There is also a Five Colleges template as well, and I think I speak for many contributors in saying we'd be more than glad to see it contributed to. That being said the Five Colleges Radio Observatory does not fall under student life in any capacity. It was strictly used for faculty research at one time and is currently being considered for decommissioning, but it has never been open to the student body. Some suggestions for where this should go include- academics, research, the Five Colleges template, or even a future tab for off-campus facilities.

Respectfully yours,
Ken (talk) 03:02, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

"Miscellaneous" and a reorganization[edit]

After looking this over for a little while now, I feel compelled to agree with CampTenDMS on this last change. Perhaps we can reach a compromise though. I would like to submit for discussion the possibility of redoing this template. Rather than putting an article such as the 1980 Amherst Water Shortage in a new section marked "miscellaneous", we could always put it in a history section that could use some expansion in the future. Among other topics that could be developed in the future for this section are- "The Founding Four" (Clark, Stockbridge, Goodell & Goessman), the Massachusetts/New England 19th century agricultural science movement, an article on the Agricultural Experiment Stations/Hatch stations specifically for the college, and perhaps the alumni, faculty and chancellor pages could be put there as well. Although they discuss a number of people currently at UMass, much of their content is historic in nature so it would seem fitting.

My other suggestion, which I am more than open to, is to reorganize the other sections on this template. I propose that we should remove the campus picture as it takes up a lot more space than serving any real function. We could make the template collapsible not unlike this, and as far sections go I would suggest the following—

Academics- lists schools
Athletics-Sports/Programs and Traditions
Campus-no separators here, put the historical areas together, all else is pretty self-explanatory
Culture- Student Life, Media, Surrounding area/Locale (Amherst, Pioneer Valley), perhaps create an list of student organizations, as many (e.g. the philosophy club, sheep herd) don't have enough content to stand on their own.
History- (see above)
Research- list laboratories, organizations, incl. current articles + other research groups/laboratories, ongoing projects (e.g. The Environmental Institute, Silvio Conte Polymer Research)
People-move alumni, faculty, chancellors to history section. No separate marker necessary, self-explanatory. E.g. Univ. of Wisconsin Madison

Looking forward to hearing any and all feedback on this,
--Ken (talk) 23:01, 20 August 2011 (UTC)