App aims to better organize student clubs and activities
Beginning this semester, student organizations and campus offices can begin using LafSync, a new tool for facilitating student involvement.
The tool allows for student organizations to manage operations online and easily connect with each other. Accessible at lafsync.lafayette.edu, it provides a space for all active student organizations to make themselves known to the campus community as well as prospective and new students looking to get involved.
The team mainly responsible for bringing LafSync to campus includes Dean of Students Paul McLoughlin II, Director of Residence Life Julie Mule, Director of Student Involvement Kristin Cothran, Director of Recreation Services Jodie Frey and newly appointed Coordinator of Student Involvement Lindsey Hresko.
The team looked at multiple third party providers that offered similar management services before settling on OrgSync, based in Austin, TX and serving over 450 college campuses.
McLoughlin was heavily involved in bringing LafSync to Lafayette, a process that began two years ago. According to McLoughlin, before LafSync, the school had a list of student organizations online, but not all of the organizations had websites. Those that did were usually out of date.
“If I was a student here and I wanted to get involved, I have one shot every year at the involvement fair…how would I know what my options were?” McLoughlin said.
While the activity fair is inclusive of many organizations on campus, not every organization has a table. Greek chapters, for example, were missing from the fair this year.
The intent is to make student involvement more accessible by posting all student organizations on LafSync and allowing student officers to manage and update their club pages, according to McLoughlin.
Another intended benefit of the LafSync program is that it will keep record of student organizations’ past histories, McLoughlin said.
LafSync will be a space where organizations can post documents such as minutes, event proposals, budget requests and more. When student officers graduate or step down from their positions, these forms from the past will all be accessible to new officers who take over and can benefit from historical records.
LafSync will also allow students to view who is in charge of organizations and who has been in charge in past years, providing them with the information of who to contact with questions.
Student organizations currently use the survey software Qualtrics to submit budget requests, but that will phase out the system over time using LafSync, according to McLoughlin.
Student organizations will be allowed to see all previous budget submissions their group has made, and student members will be allowed to pay dues to certain organizations through the system using a credit card.
Groups with multiple budget sources will be able to indicate which source they want money to come from when requesting funds. All budgets will be accessible to student government, and at the discretion of student officer’s budgets, can be made transparent to club members as well.
LafSync community administers and some of the members of the implementation team will be able to see information clubs put on LafSync, including organizations’ involvement, membership, activities and more, McLoughlin wrote in an email.
William Gordon contributed to this report.