In an effort to get more students involved on campus, the Student Association introduced a new website to consolidate student groups and membership, but it’s getting a lukewarm reception from club leaders.
Their most recent endeavor combined the PAWS and B-Involved websites into a single website called B-Engaged.
PAWS was used by the SA to keep track of student groups and their members. The SA could look at a group’s PAWS page to see how active the group was on campus.
B-Involved was started in April 2010 to keep track of students’ extracurricular activities.
“B-Involved and PAWS were so similar that it seemed foolish to continue operating them parallel to each other,” SA president Mark Soriano wrote in an email.
Soriano, a senior majoring in history, said that the new website will help students to have a more holistic view of their campus involvement. He added that it is more user friendly than its predecessors.
“The new website is very similar,” Soriano said, “but the merger allows us to provide a better and more efficient product to students.”
Soriano added that B-Engaged will allow the Student Association to be more efficient.
“[The SA is now] able to take advantage of many modules and features that we neglected before due to lack of staff, such as online elections, surveys, event calendars, user tutorials, and involvement transcripts,” he wrote.
Mike Amory, the president of the Bing Stand-Up Comedy Club, does not think that B-Involved will make any real difference.
“I only saw it as a nuisance I was forced to use if I wanted to keep my club active and receive a budget in a future,” said Amory, a senior triple-majoring in English, psychology, and politics, philosophy and law.
Amory added that it is much easier to communicate with group members via other means.
“I interact with my members through email and Facebook, which are things they already use on a daily basis,” he said. “It makes no sense to me to have a site specifically for something that B-Mail and Facebook do better. I don’t have statistical proof of this but my guess is a event I post on Facebook for a show hosted by our group would reach a far larger majority than anything posted on either of the two old sites or this new one.”
Ryan Ginsburg, an undeclared freshman, agreed with Amory’s sentiment that the new website is unnecessary.
“Honestly, I barely even check B-Line,” Ginsburg said. “I appreciate the effort, but if [the SA wants] to reach more students then they need to improve their Facebook page.”
Alysia Black, a sophomore double-majoring in human development and psychology, also said that she never got much use out of PAWS and B-Involved, and does not foresee using B-Engaged.
Soriano, however, has confidence in the new website.
“The new modules and features are so useful to students that I know B-Engaged will be a great success,” he wrote. “We now have a one-stop-shop for student involvement that actually [incentivizes] use.”
The new site launched on May 3.