Today: Jul 16, 2024

Website creates space for greater club involvement

General Assignment Reporter

Serving as a place where students can “go to for everything,” the new Collegiate Link website centralizes involvement opportunities, according to the Director of Student Life, Denise Bentley-Drobish.

Aside from features such as communicating with clubs, organizing events and sharing with students, Bentley-Drobish said the main benefit of the site is “getting connected” through involvement.

The site is designed for clubs and organizations to plan and communicate with each other in a fast and easy way, according to Stefen Keller, the Board of Club and Organization Management chair for the Student Government Association.

“It’s absolutely to help the clubs manage their memberships,” said Bentley-Drobish, talking about the goals for the site.

Other than being a management tool, she said the site, which has over 130 clubs and organizations, has many different purposes.

Keller said students can request to join clubs, post pictures, schedules, locations and events, and show descriptions of their organizations. He said club presidents can invite students to join their clubs.

Regarding privacy features, Keller said only club members can see rosters and contacts, but any student can go on the site. He said the student’s account starts out private, and can then be made public.

“Navigation is actually pretty easy,” said Stephanie Guerrera, a graduate intern in charge of events for Student Life.
She said the site makes it a lot easier for club registration, instead of students having to search for the club links at “myscsu,” and all the events can be shown in the home page as flyers that group members can upload on a virtual bulletin board for everyone to see.

“A lot of times,” said Guerrera, “students don’t see the stuff posted in the Student Center. So it’s a good way to post events.”

She said it’s “a little greener” because using the site eliminates most of the paper work normally involved in the registration and management processes of clubs.

Keller said the site provides instant notifications, approvals, denials and requests and allows clubs to publicize better. He said the site recommends services to students and tells them what they can join.

“Events are populated by what you are interested in,” said Bentley-Drobish.

Guerrera said the “my involvement” page shows all of the clubs a student belongs to to help manage his or her interests. The tabs include “home,” where the event flyers are posted, “organizations,” where there is a list and directory of all the clubs in the school, “events,” where the events based on evaluated interests of the students are displayed and “my involvement,” where the student’s memberships are shown.

Guerrera said the site also has a transcript feature, which allows students to have records of their involvements, and groups can also hold elections on the site.

The process of creating an account involves students submitting their names and e-mails and selecting from a list of interests. Then, students can select the clubs or organizations they are a part of.

Bentley-Drobish said the functions are automated so everything is instant, making the process quicker.

Keller said the site also allows Student Life to see how many people are involved in clubs and how many hours of service they put in. He said it shows “proof of involvement,” so it makes it easier for Student Life to keep records.

“It really is good for students,” said Keller. “We want you to use this because its easier for you.”

Bentley-Drobish said Collegiate Link is getting “pretty popular” with schools, and is used at close to over 100 universities.

She said it’s been about a four-year process looking at different management systems, but Student Life, along with Student Government “geared up” about a year ago.

Bentley-Drobish said some companies don’t have a verification process, and aside from being student friendly, the confirmation feature is what makes Collegiate Link unique from other management websites.

Keller said Student Life runs the website using it from an administrative aspect, while the “tech stuff” is done by the Office of Information Technology.

Guerrara said the site is activated now, but Sudent Life is currently trying to get everyone to register by Feb. 19.
“We’re being able to give the students a better sense of involvement,” said Gurrera.
She said Student Life introduced the website to students at the Leadership Retreat, and plans to use it at freshmen orientations.
Bently-Drobish said all students are encouraged to sign on.
“So you just do it all,” said Keller.

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