Have you been spending your life searching for a place where you can complete your school tasks in one easy stop? Do you spend your nights dreaming about the efficiency of the World Wide Web? Well, we have a place for you!
Anteaters.com is a site designed to cater to UCI students who are looking to take care of various needs in one place. It features everything from an e-mail service to a forum in which students can rate their professors or even purchase coursebooks.
Anteaters.com is currently run by UCI students Aaron Echols, a fifth-year political science major, and Chris Lee, a fourth-year studio arts major. Echols purchased the site in June 2002 and teamed up with Lee last spring to get the site off the ground.
According to Echols, he started with an idea and some motivation, but not much else.
‘I didn’t know how to program web sites, so my idea was to take the web site and find other people to help me work on this and build a web site for everyone that goes to UCI,’ Echols said.
Before teaming up with Echols, Lee previously ran two other UCI related sites: uciprofessors.com and peerbooks.com. Both of these sites are no longer active and directly link web surfers to Anteaters.com.
Both Lee and Echols were inspired by a Web site used by UCLA students, bruinwalk.com. According to Lee, bruinwalk.com was multi-functional and thus very popular.
‘That’s the web site every UCLA student uses, for their book exchanges, professor reviews and even to check their e-mail,’ Lee said.
The most popular features at Anteaters.com are the professor reviews and book exchanges. Students register on the site and have the ability to rate their professors and comment on a professor’s teaching performance.
According to My Su, a third- year ICS and economics major, she visits the site regularly before signing up for classes each quarter.
‘The site’s reviews are very helpful. It’s nice that students are helping each other out by giving feedback on courses and professors,’ Su said.
The sale and exchange of books on the site take place between UCI students, as opposed to buying them directly from the bookstore.
Users are given the ability to search and find a specific book among the listings and find a book they need for classes. In order to purchase a book from the site, a student must contact the student selling the book and posted the book on the website directly.
The site also offers students access to UCI e-mail accounts and classified advertising where students can post items or services, advertise housing and even search for jobs.
Within the site is a campus calendar that lists university deadlines and holidays with a discussion forum where students can talk and exchange views or ideas about school and class concerns.
Echols and Lee have high hopes for the future of Anteaters.com. Lee’s experience working as a project coordinator for a web development company has fueled his future expectations for his company.
In Lee’s opinion, the site give students a type of power that they didn’t have before.
‘In the beginning [Anteaters.com] was a way to give students leverage, I’ve felt there is really no way to keep professors in check,’ Lee said. ‘They [professors] can go into class and give a horrible lecture, not care and get away with it. That’s how I felt.’
According to Steve Sage, a fourth-year chemistry and biology major, the site would be more useful if students could get more ratings and reviews on each professor, as there are currently not enough to make decent judgments on each professor.
Lee and Echols hope to get UCI’s support for the site so that students won’t have to register and can simply log on using their UCInetID.
‘That’s our hope, down the line, that we can work with the school,’ Lee said.