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New software organizes activities, informs students

October 1st, 2009

This year John Carroll University is paving the way for students and faculty to become more connected through the use of Org Sync, a new type of collaborative software tool designed to provide improved communication and a better planning facility.

Org Sync is ideal for student organizations but is open to anyone.

The software also provides students with the opportunity to find out what is happening on campus and join organizations in a relatively easy way.

According to Lisa Ramsey, director of the office of student activities, “Org Sync provides tools that assist student organizations, departments and other groups at John Carroll.  It facilitates student organizations with online forms, polls, calendars, to-do lists, events, meetings, rosters and much more.”

Ramsey endorses Org Sync, with hopes that students will join in and use the program.

She said, “The best way to understand it is to join it yourself.”

The cost of the Org Sync software was $16,500 for a three-year contract. This contract also covers training and support.

Ramsey said, “The student organization account had an overage that needed to be used so they decided this would be a great use of the money.”

The University switched to Org Sync this year from another management organization program, Club Software. However, the Office of Student Activities decided to change software because they were displeased with the product. 

“[We] were disappointed with the outcome of the product.  It had many limitations and students did not like it.  After researching other products, the college ultimately decided to go with Org Sync after input from students, IT staff and other members of John Carroll,” said Ramsey.

The University hopes that the use of this new software will provide students with the opportunity to find out what is happening on campus and get involved with student organizations in an easier and more manageable way. 

Senior Andrea Capasso,  student union vice president for student organizations, is in favor of the program.

“OrgSync was purchased in order to provide student organizations with all of the tools they need in one place,” said Capasso. 

“In my opinion, planning events was becoming difficult for student organizations because it was hard to find out what everyone else was doing and it resulted in multiple events occuring on the same night,” said Capasso. “With OrgSync, student organizations can see what events others are planning and work around that in order to have more successful programming.”

Presently, it is unclear how the software will be fully received, but students are now able to go online and register with the program by logging onto www.orgsync.com. Once registered, students are able to connect with various campus organizations.

“Org Sync is a communication tool for student organizations and officers.  They can do everything from update calendars to sending e-mails and text messages to reserving facilities.  The set-up is similar to the look of Facebook because each student has a profile and they join organizations.  Student organization leaders will be able to keep members up-to-date, plan events and market the events all in one place. 

Sophomore Megan Hamlin said, “I registered the other day. It only takes a minute because it’s so simple. I think it’s a good way to keep the college and myself organized and connected with different groups.”

Not all students, however, are enthused about the new software.

“I don’t really see the point,” sophomore Megan Muhar said.  “It’s a waste to spend so much money on a piece of software that nobody’s really going to have the time to use.”

Sophomore Jeff Hatgas agreed.

He said, “Although it’s a good idea to connect students with their organizations, I don’t think that the college should be spending that amount of money on a piece of software.  Surely there could have been a more innovative way to spend the money.”

Overall, most students are not yet sure of the benefits of Org Sync. According to Ramsey, however, the University hopes that the software will prove to be a success and further bring the JCU community together.

“In the long run, it will be more efficient for student organizations and officers because instead of having to go to multiple places to get something done, they only need this one tool,” said Capasso. “Ultimately, Org Sync centralizes all of the tools and resources organizations need and will help them achieve successful events and stronger communication between members and between organizations.”