Written By: Nicholas Ashenfelter
The student body was recently notified of SMCM’s adoption of a new program, Campus Labs Engage. Andre Richet, the Coordinator of Student Engagement, discussed the reasoning behind this decision as well as his hopes for the future of student involvement.
Richet was familiar with Campus Labs from his time at The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. When he first got involved at SMCM, he quickly realized the need for “an engagement software platform that takes the legwork off students.” SMCM agreed and approved the purchase. This included a formal bidding process with three distinct options, but in the end, Engage had the best features for the cost. As Richet jokingly remarked, “different colored backgrounds aren’t worth 40k.”
Richet pushed for Engage based on the flaws he perceived of InsideSMCM. He described how it is “easy to not notice certain things,” like scholarships or grants in an email filled with text for events not all students will care about. Engage is tailored to the individual student, so updates of relevance will be easier to spot.
In particular, Engage is meant to help with activities specifically for student organizations, as outlined in their promotional video. Prospective club members can RSVP and save events to their calendar, as well as learn the names of who to contact for more information. On the management side, club leaders will be able to share documents and record who attended specific events, even noting a distinction between “excused” and ‘absent” club members.
InsideSMCM will still exist, but to a different extent. Students will still rely on that program for messaging outside of student activities, such as general announcements. They will not have to worry about daily emails and will be able to check it more on their own time. Richet hopes that students will enjoy the new program and find it easier to use than the old system. There’s a tutorial video on the Engage webpage, but if students have any issues they can always reach out to him at mailto:email@example.com or 240-895-4209.