College is all about experiencing new things and meeting new people; however, these things can be a challenge if students are unsure of the right opportunities to get involved.
"Outside of the Student Expo, we don't give students a whole lot of opportunity to network or to find clubs to join," said Lauren Dougherty, coordinator of student organizations and campus activities. Senior Lindsey Hebell, the Student Association director of public relations, added that, "From a student's perspective, a one-stop-shop hub for student organizations did not exist."
The solution to this problem has arrived in the form of KnightLink, a new website that helps students find more information about groups and events on campus. KnightLink is not the first creation to link students with clubs and activities on campus. Previous efforts like the "What's-Up" emails, however, have some holes that KnightLink hopes to fill. "We heard from a lot of students that the "What's-Up" emails were text heavy and [that made it] very hard to find events," Dougherty said.
The KnightLink homepage features a flier board Hebell said will help students learn more about student events and organizations. The flier board is a virtual bulletin board where activities on and around campus are advertised in chronological order. Clicking on a particular event opens a pop-up providing thorough details for any student interested in attending.
Students also have the option of customizing a search of all 196 clubs associated with the site. "You can go on and select interests, for whatever category you're interested in, and the site will actually suggest groups for you to join," Dougherty said. The site also helps students to manage their involvement with the option to log their service hours, check on their positions within organizations and view the history of events they've attended.
"KnightLink is great for our student organizations," Hebell said. Its benefits range beyond the ability to advertise activities; KnightLink allows organizations to not only contact their members via email, but also through a mass text messaging service.
"People say that they like the texting feature because pretty much everyone on campus has a phone, but not everyone checks their email regularly," Dougherty said.
One of the most recent developments is the synchronization of an organization's page on KnightLink with Facebook and Twitter feeds, allowing both current and prospective members to stay up to date with everything that an organization has to offer.
Currently, KnightLink's most important goal is to increase its popularity, encouraging students to register with the site and take advantage of its resources. "We're doing different contests to generate interest in the site and to get people going back to the site and regularly use it," Dougherty said.
In one of the most recent contests, random students' names were posted on the website. If a student logged on and saw their name, they had 24 hours to contact the administrators to win a gift card. Though KnightLink is just a few months old, Dougherty said, "The site is constantly developing and growing."