Mary Grace von Thron, Campus Carrier deputy news editor
The Student Activities Office (SAO) recently launched website that allows students to discover clubs and organizations they might be interested in and stay connected with those organizations, as well as track their involvement in different groups on campus.
Conversations to create a platform like Berry Connect began over eight years ago. The SAO wanted to make sure students would be able to benefit from the site before officially launching it, according to Lydia Gordon, assistant director for student activities.
Most schools that have a platform similar to Berry Connect only address student life, but Berry Connect plans to expand beyond that by working with other campus departments, such as the Chaplin’s Office.
The website will allow students to browse events each week and automatically add the event to their own personal calendar. By doing this, SAO hopes that students will not have to rely solely on emails to keep up with events.
One of the main reasons for launching Berry Connect was the lack of information available for students to see how they can get involved in student life.
“Apart from the Involvement Fair, we really haven’t had another way for students to figure out what’s on campus for them to join and what’s there to be a part of campus life, so that’s one of the main reasons we wanted to do this,” sophomore student involvement coordinator Aidan Paul said.
One of the many features Berry Connect offers is the ability for student organizations to fill out forms, request events, and publish events. Prior to Berry Connect, students would have to go to the SAO in Krannert to complete these tasks.
“They can do pretty much everything that they would have to come in the office to do, at the own convenience of their laptops,” Paul said. “It’s perfect timing with everything COVID- related.”
Student organization officers will also be able to keep track of their membership list and request money from SGA using Berry Connect. Members of student organizations will be able to use Berry Connect as way to vote for officers and see any upcoming events.
In addition to helping Berry students discover groups they might be interested in, Berry Connect will also be helpful to students as they build their resume. On Berry Connect, students will be able to see what organizations they are involved at Berry. Since Berry Connect is a new platform, students will only to be able to see what organizations they are involved in currently.
“Hopefully by next semester we will have all the records merged so that students will be able to see their involvement from their entire time at Berry,” said Paul. This will be super helpful for upper classmen who are working on resumes and job applications”
Organizations will also be able to edit their group page to their liking on Berry Connect.
“So that way when students are browsing through Berry Connect, organizations can put whatever flare they want to make it an eye-catching page for students to see” said Paul.
In addition to Berry Connect, students can also download the Berry Events app. Students can see any future events scheduled at Berry when using the app. Berry Events is a sub-app of Berry Connect and is only for events, while Berry Connect allows students to see events, and explore new clubs as well.
At the moment, students must go to berry.presence.io to login to Berry Connect. However, the SAO is currently working on getting Berry Connect on Viking Web. There will also be posters hung around Berry advertising Berry Connect with the website address on it.