By: Marissa Grimes – Staff Writer
While the Center for Student Involvement is still located in Kennedy Union, the student organizations it oversees are moving to a new home, at least digitally.
Community, the software previously used by the CSI and student organizations to register events, organize documents and display group information, was scrapped over the summer in favor of OrgSync, a newer, more functional online community management platform, according to Patrick Chenault, assistant director of student life at the CSI.
Community was taken down on June 30 and notice of OrgSync’s installment was given to administrators of student organizations on Aug. 25, according to emails sent from Chenault to student organization leaders.
OrgSync is accessible to all University of Dayton students through Porches. It will serve as the database for information regarding student organizations and is “the primary source of information for any student looking to join an organization on campus,” according to the “2014-15 Student Organization Resource Guide,” published annually by the CSI.
Chenault said the decision to drop Community was made because the old platform was limited in function and required student organizations to go through a re-recognition process each year.
“Limitations that Community already had were the catalyst for us to push forward with new software. We wanted to implement and provide students with a better and more well-rounded system,” Chenault said.
Chenault also said the annual process in which groups using Community had to reset their status as an organization was not a feature of the new software.
“OrgSync is a continual process,” he said. “You don’t have to shut it down, complete re-recognition forms and start all over.”
Chenault said OrgSync has many previously unavailable features various campus organizations could use to their benefit. He said the new platform is more customizable for each group, includes file drop boxes and gives groups more freedom in terms of document creation and organization.
Chenault said it will also be a better tool in terms of administration and will allow the CSI “to better track space usage on campus and frequency of meetings” to get a more accurate idea of student organization activity.
The new software is also completely paperless.
“We put all of our paper forms online. Students should be able to go in and RSVP for an event and be able to sign the release form online and not have to turn in the paper form,” Chenault said.
To teach students about the new features offered by OrgSync, the CSI will host 10 one-hour training sessions throughout the year to familiarize interested students with the new system, according the Student Organization Resource Guide.
“There are a lot more capabilities that attract students to it. Not just the overall functionality of it, but the overall look,” said Chenault. “The interface itself is very user-friendly and very appealing to students.”
Chenault said another advantage OrgSync has over older software is its smartphone compatibility.
“There is an iPhone app for OrgSync that students can utilize. It’s not as robust as the web platform but if you have a smartphone you can go directly to the website and RSVP from there,” Chenault said.
Chenault said he expects a positive reaction from students and hopes OrgSync “will become second nature to them for anything outside of the classroom.”