By Madeline Friedman
August 1, 2014
For a little over a year now, over 350 organizations that are part of NYU’s Center for Student Activities, Leadership and Service (CSALS) have been using Orgsync, an online tool to list calendars, schedule events, track membership, and communicate to members. Through OrgSync, students can log in and browse clubs and organizations categorically or by events. Every student has access; all they have to do is visit the OrgSync site and log in with their NYU NetID.
Students who are a member of a particular organization can choose whether or not their name appears as associated with that organization and is displayed to other students. If a student chooses not to opt in, their name is kept private. However, if they do opt in, other students will see their name as part of that group. Says Pascha McTyson, CSALS Director, “It has a Facebook-like quality where you can update your picture, and choose if you want to make your profile public or private. For an incoming student, if you’re overwhelmed by the number of club offerings, it’s a way to slowly go through and find what best meets your interest. You can take the time to read about each group’s mission and learn where the events are.”
For club or organization officers, OrgSync allows for streamlining the management of groups through built-in email, calendars, contact, news, discussion, and sharing tools. And it allows administration—in this case CSALS leadership—to track clubs, events, and distributed finances in one central location.
NYU Gallatin junior Michael Hengerer uses OrgSync for Strive for College, a group that recruits undergraduate student mentors from local universities to guide low-income high school students through the process of applying to, enrolling in, and paying for four-year colleges and universities.
Hengerer said he finds OrgSync’s communication tool the most helpful: “It is great to be able to go into the portal and send messages to specific groups at the click of a button”.
OrgSync Campus Consultant Melissa LaRosa said a reliance on several different tools is pretty common, which is why her organization came up with the application. “Generally speaking, most campuses are usually paper-based in club management. It is very siloed and there are inconsistencies. Students don’t have access [to information about the club], keeping all the information and events happening in one place ,” LaRosa said.
McTyson agreed saying, “When people are studying away, they can [use OrgSync to] keep connected to what is going on at their home campus.”
Madeline Friedman is a writer and editor for NYU Global Technology Services (GTS).