Center for Student Involvement rolls out major changes this fall

Office pilots new app to encourage student involvement on campus

Center for Student Involvement rolls out major changes this fall

Center for Student Involvement front desk

The Center for Student Involvement underwent a series of changes this summer, renaming itself from the Student Activities Office and implementing new initiatives including the Engage platform and the Corq app. 

Ayana Wison, director of CSI, explained that the changes were meant to ensure that the office was more accessible to students and campus organizations.

“We’ve been listening to the things that [students] have been saying about how we can better support them and are putting those things into action for them to really feel like this is a place that they can come to be involved,” Wilson said.

In the spring of 2019, CSI discussed the proposed changes with leaders from student organizations including Student Government, AU Club Council, Housing and Residence Life and Greek organizations. They provided feedback on how CSI could clarify the office’s purpose to students who were looking for opportunities to become involved on campus.

Colin Colchamiro, chair of AU Club Council, was one of the students who attended CSI’s spring presentation. He said that one of the primary inputs the invited students contributed was helping the office come up with a new name that better reflected the office’s mission.   

“Changing the name to Center for Student Involvement versus what we had before was put in place because we wanted to show how widespread the office works in all facets of student involvement,” Colchamiro said.

Colchamiro explained that the changes to the office discussed in the spring focused on the rebranding and outreach of CSI, but the day-to-day operations of the office did not significantly change. 

“The staff members are still doing basically the same things that I had always known them to be working on,” Colchamiro said. “Different people come into and out of those roles, but operationally, it feels pretty similar to what I know.”

Before the 2019 fall semester began, CSI began rolling out Engage, an online content management software providing club and organization leaders a central platform for administration, connecting with members and tracking engagement. 

Students might recognize Engage from its partner app, Corq, which provides a schedule of campus events and was required for attendance at events throughout All-American Welcome. The app also provides information on organizations hosting events and allows students to RSVP and access tickets all in one place.

“One thing that we've heard from students over and over again, is that we didn’t have a clearinghouse or particular place for them to go to find out about what's happening on campus, or to find out about an organization,” Wilson said. “So what we were really looking for is something that could do that.”

Colchamiro said that Engage has also improved the process by which clubs are able to get funding through AU Club Council. Previously funding request paperwork was submitted through email to AUCC and divided up internally by the staff to review. The old process, he said, made it easy to make small mistakes that resulted in delays in clubs hearing if their application was approved.

Now, clubs submit funding applications directly through Engage. Engage notifies clubs immediately when applications are approved, simplifying the process for Au Club Council staff and expediting the process for funds getting to clubs.

“With Engage, all budget requests are submitted online and it makes everything entirely centralized,” Colchamiro said. “I think club leaders are going to get a lot out of [Engage] and we are finding it a lot better for our processes, especially as every year a lot more clubs enter the scene.”

The platform has already helped CSI and AUCC better track the amount of engagement occurring on campus. During this year’s All-American Welcome Week alone, over 4,000 students used Engage and Corq to check into events across campus.

emargiotta@theeagleonline.com

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