Student organization networking site crashes, creates complications
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 21:09
Smorgasport and Week of Welcome got off to a rocky start this year thanks to a few technical hiccups with OrgSync, an online platform designed for social networking between campus organizations and students.
Adopted in fall 2010, the program costs Associated Students, Inc. $15,000 per year to use.
"OrgSync made it really hard to have Week of Welcome be as smooth as possible," Irving Barcenas, chief programming officer for ASI, said at an ASI Senate meeting.
Because of a glitch in the OrgSync system, not all applications for Smorgasport and Week of Welcome were processed, so ASI could not account for the exact number of organizations to be present at the events, according to Barcenas. At the ASI Senate meeting, Barcenas said he had to pay an extra fee to the University Student Union in order to bring more tables to the upper campus lawn at last minute.
However, during an interview with the Daily 49er after the meeting, Barcenas said the confusion did not cost ASI any additional time or money.
The case is currently being investigated by representatives at OrgSync, according to Barcenas. Regardless of the technical difficulties, he said he still feels that the software was a good investment.
"Like any student, I like trying technology, and it comes with its faults and advantages,” Barcenas said via email.
OrgSync was adopted by the ASI Senate with the expectation that it would increase connectivity and awareness in the community.
The program’s cost of $15,000 per year is collected through student activities fees. The price was initially opposed by members of the College of Engineering when a resolution to support the program’s installation was brought to the Senate more than a year ago.
As of January 2012, there were more than 3,000 users registered with OrgSync, along with 424 organizations. As of today, there are 7,045 users and 439 organizations, according to Christina Esparza, ASI communications coordinator.
Barcenas said ASI is wary about using the software for upcoming events.
"They want us to use OrgSync for Homecoming and the Long Beach Marathon, and I'm scared," Barcenas said at the ASI meeting.
Should this incident happen at next semester's Week of Welcome, he said ASI has found solutions but did not go into further detail.
"You live and you learn, and this was definitely a learning experience," Barcenas said.