By Erica Scalise
In the age of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, some clubs are using social media, the club fair and flyers more and more to communicate to current and potential members. Some club leaders still see value in OrgSync, the online platform that Fordham uses to communicate with club leaders and members and track involvement.
According to Cody Arcuri, assistant dean for Student Involvement, Fordham adopted OrgSync as its first group managing platform about six years ago. Before OrgSync, the department relied heavily on paper to facilitate reservation requests and manage budgets.
“The goal behind bringing OrgSync onto campus was to assist clubs and organizations with having a centralized location to store all of the items related to operating a club. Another goal of OrgSync is to improve communication and to build a community around clubs and organizations,” said Arcuri.
For clubs such as United Student Government (USG) and Campus Activities Board (CAB), OrgSync facilitates an open dialogue between students and club leaders.
Brian Reardon, FCRH ’18, president of USG, said it is imperative for USG to know how to utilize OrgSync to its fullest potential since the budget and operations committees rely heavily on it.
“It is still one of the easiest ways to go about programming and file sharing,” said Reardon.
When switching platforms from print to digital however, new issues are subject to arise. Since USG uses OrgSync often, its members are more easily exposed to its faults, according to Reardon.
“I think that we all know how frustrating it can get if an event request goes missing, or you can’t find a form that you submitted the day prior. With USG having to live in OrgSync, we experience these faults almost daily,” said Reardon.
Maxson Thomas, FCRH ’19, president of CAB said “OrgSync is a very useful tool to both students and club leaders. OrgSync is a hard system to understand, but once you get the feel of it, it is a very easy program to navigate.”
Residence Halls Association (RHA) as well as Commuting Students Association (CSA) both prefer OrgSync to other platforms of communication.
“We still use OrgSync. In fact, our elections for general board [were] live on OrgSync. Our favorite feature of OrgSync is the function to use ID swipe to check people in. It certainly cuts down time and increases efficiency,” said Sara Chesnos, GSB ’19, executive president of RHA.
Trevor Filacchione, GSB ’18, executive marketing coordinator of CSA, said OrgSync is used “for some of our planning and organization as well as CSA elections.”
“For small communications we use GroupMe,” said Filacchione.
Some students, though, find Orgsync confusing and ineffective.
David Prost, FCRH ’20, said he “was trying to vote for my RHA president and OrgSync was not working. I spent probably 25 minutes total trying to vote for the RHA president and it just wasn’t worth it anymore.”
“This is not the first time something like this has happened to me while using OrgSync,” said Prost.
Arcuri could not confirm what caused this issue. “We always encourage students to share any technical difficulties as soon as possible so we can help resolve the issue,” he said.
For upperclassmen, a similar sentiment was expressed. Sean Wilson, GSB ’19, said he does not think OrgSync plays an important role in students’ daily lives.
“I don’t understand how OrgSync fully works. While I do have an idea of what it provides, I know that most students do not regularly use it. Connecting is just easier through other platforms,” said Wilson.
The Office for Student Involvement is making attempts to introduce incoming students to the system as early as possible.
“[Going] a step further, [we] allow incoming students the opportunity to discover what is offered on campus prior to the start of classes. During the summer, we’re able to send out a survey that provides incoming students the opportunity to sign up for clubs digitally. Prior to OrgSync, we were not able to do this,” said Arcuri.
Despite these attempts, students are still falling short in their comprehension of how to use OrgSync to its fullest capacity.
“I’ve gone on Orgsync a few times and I think you can search clubs and join them. We got a few emails about it. I don’t know if it’s a great way to get info on clubs. I haven’t heard anyone except older students talk about it,” said Emma Lipinski, FCRH ’21.
For organizations smaller than RHA and CAB, such as The Fordham College Democrats, the use of social media acts as a liaison between a club’s leaders and its members.
Cameron DeChalus, FCRH ’20, secretary of The Fordham College Democrats said the club “use[s] emails and Facebook to reach out to people. We’re working on expanding to Instagram and Twitter as well. We were even able to get a Lincoln Center student interested in our club because of Twitter, so social media has become very helpful.”
“We use OrgSync to schedule events, make and submit our budget and create a list of club members,” said DeChalus.
The Fordham College Republicans also “use Facebook and emails as our main source. It seems that many members don’t use OrgSync, and it’s a confusing system to use in general. We do use it for programming and issues where it’s necessary,” said Colton Hillman, GSBw ’19, vice president of The Fordham College Republicans.
Though OrgSync, like any system, has its faults, its level of accessibility and adaptability assist in helping it play an integral role on campus, according to Arcuri.
“The future of OrgSync is exciting as it continues to evolve,” said Arcuri. “Just recently, OrgSync announced that the system is changing names to Engage and is being relaunched with a new interface. We are excited to see some of the new features and explore ways to launch them on campus.”
“This online community assists clubs with reaching a larger audience across campus. By leveraging the communication tools in OrgSync, clubs and organizations are able to publicize events, run elections and send out announcements about upcoming opportunities community wide. This was not able to occur in a centralized location beforehand,” said Arcuri.