Uploading photos, updating your profile, posting events and joining groups — sounds like regular Facebook activities, but they are actually all aspects of the new Drake Community website for campus organizations.
The site, which launched on Aug. 18, aims to make the group registration process more efficient. Registration paperwork was previously done in the Office of Student Life. Director of Student Life and Assistant Dean of Students Melissa Sturm-Smith hopes the system will make campus organizations more readily available to students.
“The convenience factor is huge,” Sturm-Smith said. “It will give the best snapshot of what’s happening on campus. It will be instant and timely.”
The Office of Student Life contracted with a company and has been working since mid-July to put the site into place. The Senate Student Affairs Committee was also a part of the creation process.
Student Coordinator for Organizations and Activities Adam Lutz has also been involved in launching the site.
Lutz has been testing the site’s features, fixing settings and creating tutorials for organizations to use. He compared the site to an “online activities fair” since groups will now be able to recruit new members year round.
At the beginning of the year, all campus organizations had to register on the website. Now once students log on, they can see all of the organizations on campus and view their information. Students can just browse, apply to join or show interest in any campus group or organization.
“It makes it easier for students to connect with organizations and organizations to get to students,” Lutz said.
Group administrators have the abilities to post minutes, polls, blogs, constitutions, photos, links and events on their group page. They can also control who sees the information they post. They can make it visible to group members, administrators or to the public. The overall goal is to make everything easier for groups and the Student Life Office, said Sturm-Smith.
While each campus organization can choose to use the Community website at their own discretion, it is mandatory that groups use the website for event requests. After the request is approved by Sturm-Smith, the event will be shown on the Community calendar the Drake University calendar, as well as group members’ personal calendars.
Another feature of the Community website is Facebook Connect. Whenever a group administrator posts an event or photo, they can then send that information straight to their Facebook page as well. Prospective students will also be able to use the website to view all of the organizations and their descriptions.
Cate O’Donnell, president of the Outdoor Leadership Club, has already made use of the new Community website for her organization. She has posted pictures from last year’s events and enjoys using the site to e-mail members and to publicize Outdoor Leadership Club’s events.
“Its basically like free advertising for our group,” O’Donnell said. “It puts everything in one place.”
How to access the Community site:1. Go to drake.edu and click on the Campus Life tab.2. Click on the Student Life tab, then select Student Organizations