This fall, Pitzer College will implement OrgSync, a program for the online management of student clubs and organizations.
Assistant Dean of Students Chris Brunelle has been working for the past two years to find a program that will enable students to manage their organizations more efficiently.
“The system might be what students need to take their organizations to new heights,” he said.
OrgSync provides a suite of tools that includes online forms and polls, to-do lists, schedules, online file storage, a discussion forum, a budget management system and a public website template that users can modify without programming knowledge. OrgSync also offers verification tools that use card swipes to track student involvement in events and attendance at meetings.
“When applying to grad school or medical school, the activity verification reinforces the application,” Student Senate Secretary Andrea Gochi PZ ’14 said.
OrgSync will also archive information online from year to year, including minutes, budgets and schedules of events from previous years.
“I think the largest benefit will be its ability to help create institutional memory,” Student Senate Chair Jonathan Rice PZ ’13 wrote in an e-mail to TSL. “One of the biggest problems Pitzer has had in the past with clubs is that after the founders graduated, no one would have the knowledge to continue running the club.”
Brunelle said that the program will also help keep clubs from getting bogged down in logistics and management.
“This will both enable existing clubs to build on their previous successes and allow new clubs to start at an accelerated pace,” he said.
Gochi said that this program was chosen in part because of its accessibility.
“If it’s really easy to use, more people will use it,” she said.
Gochi, who is involved in the Chemistry Club and Women in Science, said that she hopes OrgSync will make communication easier and expose students to less well-known clubs.
As one of its new user services, OrgSync will send a consultant to Pitzer to help with the launch. Once the system is implemented and students become familiar with it, there will be “training the trainer” sessions, where experienced users can learn how to teach other students to use the program. There will also be online seminars offered about the system.
According to Brunelle, if OrgSync is successful, Pitzer may expand its use. The program can be used as an alumni or parent relations network and by administrative offices, dining halls, Campus Safety and career services.
Next academic year, OrgSync may be used during Orientation, so incoming students will be familiar with it before they even start school, Brunelle said. The program may become mandatory in coming years, he added.