Along with students, B-Engaged was on break this past Thanksgiving holiday.
B-Engaged, a platform used by Binghamton University student organizations for outreach and engagement, experienced periods of downtime from Nov. 24 to Nov. 26 for routine server maintenance. An announcement notifying the campus community of the downtime was posted on administrative sections of both Dateline and the B-Engaged from Nov. 16 to Nov. 26 and 28, respectively. According to the Dateline Announcement, the site was to be down during overnight hours and extend into the day as needed.
The routine maintenance was initiated by the B-Engaged vendor, CampusGroups, according to Giovanna Bernardo, student engagement specialist in the Student Affairs Assessment and Solutions for Engagement.
“B-Engaged is a cloud-based platform,” Bernardo wrote in an email. “With client campuses nationwide (as well as around the world), CampusGroups scheduled this maintenance to their [United States] servers during a time of the semester with lower levels of platform activity, due to the Thanksgiving holiday.”
B-Engaged is a tool for organizations to efficiently connect with the student body, according to Bernardo, who called it the University’s “centralized hub” that keeps the campus up-to-date on the thousands of extracurriculars, events and clubs available to them.
“From posting and promoting club/organization events — like General Interest Meetings, semesterly fundraisers or weekly tabling — to sending recurring newsletters, tracking member service hours and beyond,” Bernardo wrote. “B-Engaged is an indispensable tool for student leaders to more effectively manage internal operations, communicate with officers/members and reach prospective members within our campus community.”
In the Dateline Announcement, student organizations that use B-Engaged were encouraged to take preemptive measures prior to the first day of inaccessibility.
“Since B-Engaged may not be accessible for a period of time during these dates, if your club, organization or group has anything scheduled to take place (events) or send from the system (emails/newsletters), make sure to download registration lists, reschedule emails/newsletters going out, etc. prior to Nov. 24, in case the platform is not available,” the Dateline Announcement read.
Many student organizations use the engagement platform as their main form of outreach. Madeline Schalk, Binghamton University Underground Presents (BUMP) chair and a senior majoring in economics, said she finds B-Engaged to be a useful tool for announcing and publicizing underground music events she and her organization hosts.
“B-Engaged is one of the most useful and beneficial ways to communicate events to students at BU,” Schalk said. “I find that, as an organizer, it helps to spread the word in a quick and efficient way, as everyone receives the B-Engaged emails daily. On the receiving side of the emails as well, I always love to check and see what events are happening around campus weekly.”
Lisa Jose, vice president of the Binghamton University Marketing Association (BUMA) and a junior majoring in business administration, finds B-Engaged to be a useful organizational tool when reaching out to members of BUMA.
“B-Engaged allows us to see when new members join the organization so we’re able to track the membership throughout the year,” Jose said. “The most useful aspect would be the ability to send out emails and other communications to the entire organization through B-Engaged. It makes reaching out to members so much easier because all their emails are in one place. B-Engaged really helps to streamline these processes and help us to stay organized and up-to-date on member engagement.”
For student leaders looking to begin using the platform to manage their organizations, Bernardo described how recurring training sessions are hosted throughout the year that can be attended.
“Our recurring training sessions on Zoom each month highlight general ‘group administrative’ features (like creating events or surveys) and deep-dive into specific features (like creating and scheduling newsletters),” Bernardo wrote. “Students looking to learn the platform can also find an expansive library of pre-recorded training sessions, and how-to demos/resources, on our YouTube, Training Hub and in our Instagram Highlights.”