Student Organizations to go Online with OrgSync

September 15, 2010

We wanted to share this article with you from a current OrgSync Campus. This article was originally published in The Spectrum on Monday September 13th, 2010 by Matt Stevens.

NDSU has been looking for ways to better meet the networking needs of student organizations. In order to do this, Student Government has decided to transition student organization pages from Blackboard to a new system called OrgSync.

“OrgSync allows organizations to have better direct contact with their members, campus community and with the Congress of Student Organizations,” Jon Okstad, executive commissioner for the Congress of Student Organizations, said.

Once fully implemented, OrgSync will allow student organizations to have a common place to host Web sites, contact members and track finances. As opposed to Blackboard, OrgSync will be more user-friendly and centralized, allowing students to get involved with greater ease.

OrgSync noted in their company overview, “Our web-based application offers more than 50 tools that together revolutionize the way campus administrators, student organizations and students communicate and interact.”

As organizations on campus continue to change and grow, they have developed needs that go beyond those that Blackboard can accommodate. Features such as mass text messages and organization-integrated calendars have become necessary in group management.

Student government spent 12 months researching how to cater to these needs. After considering the options, it was clear that OrgSync was the best choice because of all the social networking advantages it offers. They signed on with OrgSync for a term of three years.

“Student government played an instrumental role in the OrgSync process,” Ken Story, student government’s executive commissioner of public relations, said. “Student government advocated for student involvement and implementing the program by making a request to the technology fee advisory committee. Once funding was approved, student government and the student activities office worked to implement the program on campus.”

As more organizations build their pages, students will be able to browse through all of what NDSU has to offer by category. Okstad hopes to see the transition from Blackboard to OrgSync completed by the end of October. For the transition to be considered complete, all student organizations will need to have created their own OrgSync pages.

In order to fully participate in an organization through OrgSync, students will have to register using their NDSU electronic ID. Once registered, students will be able to join organizations and become part of their online communities.

“We hope in the end to get a large amount of the NDSU community enrolled in OrgSync,” Okstad said.

The CSO hopes that the changes associated with the switch to OrgSync will increase student organization involvement. “[With OrgSync] students will be able to much more easily locate student organizations on campus, communicate with officers and see events going on on-campus,” Okstad said.

Student government will be hosting student information sessions at 3 and 4 p.m. Sept. 21 in the Century Theater. Students are encouraged to bring their own computers to follow along with the presentation. During the meeting, information on how to build a personal profile and get involved with student organizations on OrgSync will be covered.

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