SGA Hopes to Connect Groups with Collegiate Link

Amanda Golden


Finally, there is an easier way for student groups to not only communi­cate with each other, but also to man­age and organize events. The Student Government Association (SGA) is proud to introduce getinvolved.col­, a specialized software pack­age called Collegiate Link created by Campus Labs, which is customized for the student groups on campus. The program officially launched at Colgate on Wednesday, November 9.

“SGA is partnering with the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement (CLSI) to bring Collegiate Link to cam­pus to help streamline the relationship between student groups and the student body as a whole,” SGA President senior Mike Miller said. “By creating a digi­tal hub for all student groups, students should find it much easier to keep tabs on what’s going on around campus. Also, the software will take a student’s interests into consideration and will help suggest events and clubs on campus that he or she might be interested in.”

The program is fairly simple: a Colgate student can create a free ac­count and sign in as an individual, just as one would do with Facebook, or a student organization on campus can create the same type of account but for their group as a whole. For an individual account, one uses the same username and password that they use for their school e-mail, since it is linked through the person’s Col­gate information. The individual can then generate a profile and manage through his or her profile the organi­zations he or she belongs to. The in­terface for student groups allows the organization to manage its roster of members and its activities and events. It then can use those two pieces to manage both the students and the organization in the same place.

“This is something that’s a major administrative change, but it was pro­duced by students,” Assistant Dean for Campus Life Fouad Saleet said.

The decision to make the transi­tion to a digital platform has been in the works for some time.

“SGA is responsible for managing recognition, making sure that organi­zations are keeping up with what they are supposed to be keeping up with, holding constitution,” Saleet said. “That was very much a paper process and dependent on the transition from year to year of the organizations and how well they transitioned their own officers. So we began exploring ways to make that a more electronic and up-to-date process and to make sure that organizations could keep a record of themselves over time.”

Picking the Collegiate Link pro­gram specifically involved signifi­cant effort from both students and the administration.

“They examined quite a few differ­ent products and then ultimately wrote a report laying out the pros and cons of each of the organizations and making their recommendation,” Saleet said. “The top two products were reviewed, and they thought that this one would be the best one for Colgate. It had the most customization for the institution and the least bells and whistles that they thought students wouldn’t use.”

Saleet also commented on the benefits the program offers to stu­dents at Colgate, especially when utilized as a tool for further success.

“For the individual, it allows you to manage all the organizations you belong to, everything you do with those organizations, ser­vice hours that you do, different jobs that you have within those organizations and it allows you to print out a transcript at some points in your career as a list of everything you’ve done,” Saleet said. “It keeps a record of who you are and what you’ve accomplished at Colgate, even if you only did it for two months. The hope is that that will be helpful when students look to produce a resume or cover letter – they’ll have information ready at hand.”

The new software should also help in making student-organized events more efficient going forward, as well as help the organizations manage all of their information both past and present.

“The organization’s benefit is that it keeps a record of all their members,” Saleet said. “The infor­mation never gets erased, so even if the student graduates, we can al­ways go back and see if they were a member of a group. They get to keep a record of the events they produce, how they put them on, how much it cost, so basically it makes it easier to look back and see how your organization did and how you want to do it in the future.”

The software is also expected to help with student outreach for various groups on Colgate’s campus.

“The last thing that everybody really liked about it was on your organizational profile, it will ask you about your interests, and the organizations get to manage their interests,” Saleet explained. “Es­sentially, it will give you a listing of all the possible organizations you might be interested in. It’s a really great way to keep updated in between the involvement fair.”

Saleet addressed how both he and the SGA expect the program to be applied.

“It really becomes a data-stor­age, involvement, connection, messaging and eventually an event function,” he said. “Ultimately, the goal is 100 percent student organization participation, be­cause we can’t do the event func­tion and we can’t do what will hopefully be an electronic request for funds from the BAC [Budget Allocation Comittee] through the system until we have 100 percent participation…We’re looking to try to get the 100 percent by the end of the semester.”

Saleet explains that the effec­tiveness of the program hinges on student participation.

“What’s really important for me is not necessarily every stu­dent being on there, but every organization being on there,” Saleet said. “Everybody can play a part in this. There’s so much we can do with it, but only if we get every organization on there. It has its own built-in carrot and stick – these things could be re­ally interesting to students, but if they don’t sign in, then we can’t use them. It’s in everyone’s best interest to get on there.”

Both the students and the administration that worked to bring Collegiate Link to campus hope that it will be both helpful and successful.

“This is an SGA initiative, and it’s something that student govern­ment really believed was going to help catapult them and the organi­zations into a new era of manage­ment and information sharing,” Saleet said. “It’s a lot more transpar­ent and allows SGA to be a lot more transparent. The hope is that it’s go­ing to be something that will make everybody’s life a bit easier.”

Contact Amanda Golden at [email protected]