By Shannon Nia AlomarSTAFF WRITER
Campus Labs’ CollegiateLink claims to be a “leading platform to centralize, organize and increase student involvement opportunities,” but Hofstra students beg to differ.
“As the [Student Government Association] Club Relations Chairwoman, I believe that CollegiateLink is not living up to its full potential,” said Alex Engelson, senior public relations major, “I think that as of right now, clubs aren’t utilizing it as much as they can, which makes it not seem as important, when in reality it can be an incredibly resourceful tool.”
CollegiateLink serves to inform onlookers about clubs and organizations’ profiles, rosters, budgets, events and any other activities in which that specific club may be partaking. A product run by the national corporation, Campus Labs, universities across the country operate their student activities databases via CollegiateLink.
This resource is heavily promoted by the Office of Student Leadership and Activities (OSLA) and the Student Government Association (SGA), but the student population voiced several concerns regarding whether or not CollegiateLink is as useful as it is said to be. Many student leaders and club members have specific concerns in the lack of up-to-date information.
Carol Pollock, sophomore political science major, expressed her frustration with faulty contact information on some of the club profiles she was interested in joining.
“…many clubs I have tried to join, I have contacted and it turns out the students graduated or something. All contact information and club info is either limited or outdated which makes it useless. It’s happened to me more than once where [I’ve] contacted a club and either [the members] graduated, it wasn’t a club anymore or the email was never answered,” said Pollock.
According to Engelson, club members are responsible for maintaining accurate information on club profiles.
“CollegiateLink should be updated by student leaders at least weekly,” said Engelson. “By updates we mean their rosters should always be up to date, their constitution should be updated once Rules has approved it, events should be updated and any changes to meeting dates/times should be updated as well.”
Christopher Etienne, Hofstra alumni and former student leader, also felt as though the lack of updates and monitoring leaves CollegiateLink underrated in the Hofstra community.
“It could be a really useful tool if upper-administration monitored it regularly. [A]s a graduate I’ve had numerous emails requesting permission to join certain clubs, etctera,” said Etienne. “Clubs that, in my time, I had been delegated with the responsibility of shepherding new members via Collegiatelink. I even received emails from upper-administration that were reaching out to club leaders and when I replied that I was no longer a student they simply apologized but took no action to have my name removed from the list it was being generated from. I think the idea behind it was a good one but it’s lacking management.”
When asked about the oversight of CollegaiteLink, Engelson assured it was reviewed by administrators and the SGA club relations division to confirm clubs that are granted club space are actually registered and active. Engelson also spoke to the significance of the resource and why students should be more open-minded about its usage.
“CollegiateLink not only gives students the opportunity to learn information about potential organizations they wish to join, but it also gives them a way to monitor their service hours. As a club leader, students have the ability to track their budget, keep a record of their constitution, keep track of their members and e-board and connect their [CollegiateLink] with the organization’s social media,” Engelson said.
SGA has actively attempted to make CollegiateLink a regularly-used tool throughout the club experience at Hofstra despite the lack of support from students. In order to introduce new students to the purpose of CollegiateLink, OSLA continues to promote it on their site and made a push for it during Welcome Week. Also, student leaders are encouraged to inform their members about CollegiateLink to help add to its relevance.