By THOMAS SKEER
MyUMW, the online portal for clubs and organizations has recently switched over from the previous OrgSync platform to Presence. Student Activities and Engagement (SAE), which oversees MyUMW, played an integral role in the transition process.
“The main reason the switch was made was because our contract with OrgSync, the previous student engagement software, ended mid-March and we wanted to look into a variety of options,” said SAE director Sandrine Sutphin. “After reviewing different options, we came across Presence, the new student engagement software we are now using, and we liked what it was able to provide.”
The change comes with new challenges, but SAE is hopeful that the new website will be an improvement from the old system.
“We feel that it provides a more modern, user-friendly interface, will be better at tracking student engagement data and it is also helping us save money,” said Sutphin. “While transitioning software can present a few challenges, we feel like it will be very worth it in the end.”
The MyUMW Presence page consolidates current campus information into tiles that are meant to be easy to access, and students have taken notice of the change.
“One of the things that drew me to the school was all of the possibilities to be involved in the campus through clubs and sports,” said junior biology major Malorie Joseph. “The MyUMW site has always been the best place for me to discover new programs and opportunities and I have really enjoyed using the new website.”
The new Presence website homepage is headed with a large background of the University Center with a MyUMW banner along with a series of smaller rectangular and square links highlighting upcoming events, featured organizations and campus forms.
“I am not the biggest fan of the new Presence website,” said sophomore psychology major Hannah Checkeye. “I think that having the tiles on the homepage is a good idea but I wish that it could be more personalized to the clubs that I am in and everything going on around school.”
Other students welcome the change.
“I think that the new website is a good way to spark interest in the school and an easy way to get students interested in different clubs that are offered at the university,” said junior biology major Jesse Hernandez.
The new website includes embedded Facebook and Twitter links to the university’s official accounts.
“I think that the integration of the social media tabs in the Presence website is a good way to connect with students and hopefully intrigue them to follow the pages on their personal accounts,” said junior biology major Corinne Carson.
While some students said they were excited to use the new website, some feel it may be too late for them to take full advantage of the new system.
“I really like the new website I just wish that I had more time to use it,” said senior environmental science major Will Donohoe. “I feel like if the new website would have been around a few years ago I might have been more inclined to get involved in more clubs.”
Although this is the first update to the MyUMW webpage in several years, the timing of the change has been inopportune for those new to the university.
“Coming from high school I had to learn an all new navigation system once arriving and now that there is another change in the website that I have to figure out is frustrating,” said freshman Gracie Williams.
The new MyUMW website also comes with a new mobile version for keeping up with clubs and events on the go. The mobile version can be accessed under the “Tools & Search” tab on the university homepage and has the same tile design.
“The mobile version of the website is relatively crowded but is very interactive and up to date. It also gives a modern day social media feel while using it,” said freshman international relations major Andrew Sweeney.