Change to OrgCentral poses challenges for student organizations

OrgSync changed to OrgCentral this past summer with help from Kelli Farris, executive director of the Center for Student Involvement. The Center for Student Involvement is located in the K-State Student Union on the main floor. (Jordan Koster | Collegian Media Group)

The platform all registered student organizations use to keep documents, membership information and more has changed from OrgSync to OrgCentral.

The change was inevitable after OrgSync was purchased by Campus Labs several years ago, said Kelli Farris, executive director of the Center for Student Involvement.

“We’ve been holding out on making the transition to the new Campus Labs product because it had not been meeting some of the needs that we had and how we had it implemented on campus,” Farris said.

The name change is slight, but Ferris highlights that the inclusion of “central” in the name will help students know that this platform is a central location they can find information about the approximately 560 student organizations at Kansas State.

The new OrgCentral platform is already up and running. The tab on K-State’s website is located where the OrgSync tab was previously. Students still use their K-State login information to access the new platform.

Farris said there have been very few issues with the new platform. However, there has been a learning curve with registering new organizations.

“One of the challenges that comes with this new platform is that it doesn’t have some of the automated features that OrgSync had, especially when it comes to the organization registration process,” Farris said. “In OrgSync, the registration process was very automated. Once the students filled out their registration form, OrgSync would automatically send a form to advisers to check off and say, ‘Yes, I will be the adviser’ and automatically sent one off to the sponsoring department.”

The new OrgCentral platform does not have this automated feature so students will have to inform the advisors themselves. To assist with the adjustment, Farris and the Center for Student Involvement have been communicating with advisers and student organizations. Some video tutorials are in the works to assist in the learning process.

As for documents that student organizations stored on OrgSync, Farris said that those documents had a smooth transition to the new platform as far as she is aware. However, issues have popped up in other areas.

“The one issue in the transition from OrgSync to OrgCentral has been the transfer of rosters,” Farris said. “It didn’t transfer the position title with the name. So, if you were listed as president of an organization, it didn’t transfer the title along with your name.”

In addition, organizations’ constitutions did not transfer over.

“Uploading a new, recent constitution will be part of the registration process this year,” Farris said. “We do have the ability to pull those old ones from OrgSync. So, if any organization doesn’t have a current, electronic copy of their constitution, they can just reach out to us.”

Students have faced some challenges with the platform. Nathan Bothwell, speaker pro tempore of student senate and junior in political science, said the Student Governing Association has trouble managing the organization in addition to uploading and editing legislation.

“I feel that OrgCentral is a bit more difficult to use than the previous platform, OrgSync,” Bothwell said. “OrgCentral is just missing many features that made OrgSync convenient. For example, you have to open an entirely different tab to manage an organization page. OrgSync let you both access features and manage the page from the same screen.”

Bothwell also said that uploading documents is difficult for standard members of SGA, as OrgCentral doesn’t allow standard members to upload files. To combat this, members have all been granted some level of administrative access.

A large part of SGA, Bothwell said, is creating and editing legislation. In OrgSync, members could see previous versions of documents, but that feature is unavailable on the new platform.

“With how many edits we make to legislation in SGA, this is a major hinderance to our utilization of the site,” Bothwell said.

Part of Bothwell’s job has also been impacted by this.

“As speaker pro tempore, it is my job to move legislation to the correct folders,” Bothwell said. “On OrgSync, you could move multiple documents at once. OrgCentral requires you to move each file individually, one at a time. This is just time consuming for the large volume of legislation that we produce.”

Farris encourages students to reach out if they face issues in OrgCentral.

My name is Bailey Britton and I am the former editor-in-chief of the Collegian. Previously, I have been the assistant news editor and the managing editor. I have also interned for the Manhattan Mercury and the Colby Free Press. I grew up in Colby, Kansas, and I am a junior in journalism and English. Through the Collegian, I aim to provide the K-State community with quality news coverage while we learn to serve our campus.