Student Groups Turn to Hub for Improved Organization
Issue   |   Wed, 09/28/2016 - 00:35

An increasing number of student organizations are using the Hub, a newly-launched online database designed to centralize information for student groups, according to the Office of Student Life. The website, which is accessible to all Amherst students, contains a directory of all registered clubs, a news board of upcoming campus events and a portal for event and party registration.

The customizable online database is offered by Collegiate Link, a company that provides services to more than 1,000 colleges and universities across the U.S., including four of the schools in the Five College Consortium.

Associate Director for Student Life for Student Activities Paul Gallegos and Assistant Director of Student Activities Emily Lombardo first learned about the database during a meeting with student life offices from other schools in the consortium.

One of the main goals of the database, they said, is to make student life resources readily accessible to the entire student body and to make individual clubs’ events and activities more widely known across campus.

“It really is a one-stop shop for all things student activities and engagement on campus, if it’s being utilized to its full potential,” Lombardo said.

Over the upcoming year, more resources will be added to the website, including a finance module which will allow organizations and students to request funding and keep track of club budgets. Other possible additions include an elections module, survey forms and a phone app of events happening on campus and nearby colleges.

Ultimately, however, Lombardo and Gallegos said that the Hub’s future direction will depend largely on students’ ideas and feedback, which have been positive so far.

“In our smaller community here, we can really make this [fit] exactly to student’s expectations,” Gallegos said. “It’s not our vision of it.”

Allison Ogawa ’18, a leader of the Amherst Yoga Club, said that she found the Hub useful for organizing the club and providing information to its members.

“We operate mostly by putting up our schedule on Facebook, so I’ve found that it’s really nice to be able to post a schedule and have workshops through the Hub,” Ogawa said.

Every registered club on campus has a page on the Hub where club leaders can post announcements and track rosters. Student members who sign up to be a part of the club page can receive updates and information from the site itself or through texts sent to their phone.

Leaders can also save documents like club constitutions, bylaws and meeting minutes to the page, preserving them for future members, which Gallegos calls “a huge upside” to the Hub.

Ogawa also said that she thought the Hub was underutilized at the moment and that she hopes that the student body shifts over time to take advantage of its resources. The Hub, she said, has the potential to attract a broader audience for campus events and student projects.

“Sometimes at this school we have over-programming, and then people don’t show up to things, which is so sad,” she said. “I think this could be a really fantastic way to streamline and unify advertisement.”