Clubs struggle to adapt to new scheduling software

Yeskanisayka Urbina/Contributing Writer

 

Panther Connect replaced OrgSync as an engagement network for Student Affairs, causing some negative reactions from clubs and organizations.

“We couldn’t reserve classrooms until the second week of school and still I’ve had to go to the actual event planning office to do that,” said Event Director of the Venezuelan Student Alliance, Genesis Garcia. “Before… you could go to reservations.fiu.edu and reserve, but for the whole summer that page was signed off.”

Panther Connect affected some organizations over the summer by delaying the process to reserve rooms for plans and events. The new system required for all clubs and organizations to re-register to become validated and official once again.

“All of the organizations were having the same problem, because all the clubs were deleted from the roster. We lost access to our emails. We couldn’t access it because basically, our organization didn’t exist,” said Garcia.

Aside from communicating efficiently some students are finding that new requirements, such as changing measurements when uploading an image, are delaying them in their event planning process. While Panther Connect trainings occured on the last week of summer and the first and second weeks of school to introduce organizations to the new system, some club members felt that the trainings were not thorough enough to fully understand it.

“Composing the email, I made an event page for a general meeting. I’ll choose the header, insert description here, add tags. I’ve never had to this before like, what is acceptable to tag this as because we have so many things that are available through our organization,” said Taleen Gomez, vice president of Sigma Tau Delta, English Honor Society. “They didn’t go over those things with me in the training.”

The system was introduced by the Council for Student Organization and the Student Organizations Council to target a better organization model for the Student Affair network.

Announced in fall 2017, CSO held informative sessions regarding the potential change to students and advisors. As the transition was conducted over the course of one week in July, organizations were given a to-do list to help them process smoothly into the change.

Nicole Valle, president of CSO, told Student Media that Panther Connect includes many new features that make navigating through the platform much easier.

“The platform, OrgSync, that was being used before was purchased by Engage [known to FIU as Panther Connect]. It was just a merger between two companies that were bought out by CampusLabs. So we took the opportunity to make some changes that we hope to benefit all councils, organizations and students,” said Valle.

Valle said that with the new implementations in the new fall semester, organizations have the opportunity to start all over with Panther Connect, including showing more to their site members.

“Airlines… and hotels use central reservation systems, and it works for them. I think because of so many organizations this is the probably the best way. It’s just a matter of getting all the technical stuff that’s happening in the background sorted,” said Meyer Grunberg, the president of Shalom FIU and former Student Media reporter.

The Panther Connect 15-minute training process that covers all new features of the system is offered to student organization’s e-board members in the Student Organization Resource Center in GC 2300.

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