New platform replaces OrgSync

News Editor Karah Wilson

Beginning this semester students will no longer use OrgSync for Registered Student Organizations.

OrgSync centered around organization management and had features to keep organization’s files and pictures, send text messages, build forms and swipe students in at events to track attendance.

Director of Student Engagement Tyler Thompson said the university’s contract with OrgSync ended last year and he learned about Student Engagement Online by Presence.

“It does not offer the information, such as RSO operations and forms, as easily as OrgSync, but few students look at that anyway,” said Delta Chi President Scott Griffin. “I believe Presence’s functionality is better as well.”

Griffin said he likes the new platform because it is more event-centered and is aesthetically pleasing.

“It is designed by higher education professionals to promote and track student participation,” Thompson said. “I reached out to SGA and some other groups that relied on OrgSync. They were invited to a couple of campus demonstrations. It seemed that everyone was overwhelmingly impressed by the new platform’s capabilities, so after clearing the change with IT and other campus partners who would be critical to successfully rolling out the new system, we signed a contract with Presence.”

Thompson said Presence allows student engagement, student organizations and other campus departments to easily manage their organization, promote their events and track the data of who is attending their programs. Students will be able to vote for homecoming king and queen on the platform.

“This year is a soft opening year so that everyone can learn,” Thompson said. “Surprisingly, we have had some organizations, departments and entire colleges jump right in and immediately begin using more features than we anticipated. We are continuing to operate OrgSync until December to give everyone a little time to get accustomed to the Presence platform, although almost everyone has now seamlessly moved to the new platform.”

Thompson said the purpose of Presence is to simplify the planning, promotion, and data gathering processes associated with student activities.

“It utilizes the convenience of mobile technology to collect data and promote events,” he said. “It is a fairly simple interface for administrative users who create activities. If administrative users are able to complete an electronic form, they can plan, promote, and setup an electronic sign-in sheet all on the same electronic form. The form even has a place to upload a promotional graphic or they can even search a database of free stock photos right on the form. When the form is complete, everything else is automated. The event and details from the form are added to the list of events promoted on the app. It goes on television screens for promotion, and the electronic sign-in sheet is created. When it is time for the event, a couple of people download a simple attendance tracking app which prompts them to type in the event pin code. This allows them to begin swiping Mane Cards of attendees.”

Thompson said individual groups get the benefit of easily gathering aggregate data about the number and populations of students attending their events.

“At the same time, we can see what events students are attending across many different groups and areas,” he said. “The campus wide snapshot is key to understanding how our students are engaging with activities happening on campus. It allows us to make better decisions collectively regarding how and where to allocate our scarce resources in a way that will create the greatest positive impact on the university experience.”