We appreciate the work that you’re doing on behalf of your students. As a team made up entirely of student affairs professionals, we know that your number one priority right now is supporting your students during a rapidly evolving and fluid situation. In order to assist you, we wanted to call attention to some Engage features that may help you continue the work of connecting your students with each other and campus resources. Below you will find information on:
- Supporting elections online
- Handling in-person (e.g., training) aspects of organization registration online
- Encouraging reporting of online events
- Messaging capabilities that may ease organization-based communication
- Promoting online service and volunteerism
- Promoting online voter registration
- Other reminders and tips from our team
As a note, everything listed below is included in every contract of Engage; there is no need to purchase anything to take advantage of the tools we’re describing.
- Your student groups might need to conduct business remotely, and this function can help with organization officer elections, polling, or voting that may have taken place during meetings. In order to make sure your organizations have access to this functionality, be sure to adjust the settings in their Organization Type. The Primary Contact and any officers with Full Access within their organization can create an election. You can change these permissions through the Position Template if needed, either to give more access or restrict access.
- If you do your Organization Registration in the spring, you can set up your registration process to include additional forms or links to trainings that you may have previously delivered in person. For example, you may want to create or use existing anti-hazing forms, risk management information, or official organizational policies as “steps” within your registration, to make sure this information gets in front of your student leaders.
- To accommodate recorded trainings you might want someone to watch before registration, you can also create a form and have an Instructions question that includes links to other sites for them to review information before proceeding. Make sure your links open in a new window to allow students to more easily click between content. When you click on the link in the format section, it will open link properties window where you should select Open Link in a New Window.
- You can use Events to advertise online gatherings or meetings that will be of significance to your students. We recommend putting a link to the online meeting information in the event description, so students can access it from the event itself. You can also allow students to RSVP to events, and upload attendance lists. You may want to create events for trainings that will occur online, or other informational sessions that occur remotely. You want to consider adjusting some Event Categories to help differentiate events that may be happening in-person versus online or remotely.
- You can also use Events to advise students of deadlines or specific submission periods you need students to be aware of, and students can RSVP to Events on behalf of an organization, so you can keep track of organizations who have attended specific officer or online required training.
- We recently added the functionality for you as an administrator to Cancel All Events in a specific date range. This may be helpful if you need to quickly update your site. Be aware it cancels ALL events, so you may need to re-create any online or on-going events. Administrators can find this tool in your events list in the admin view.
- You can adjust the settings on events to allow students to self-report their attendance. In existing events, go to Manage Event and then Change Details. From there, you can select the option to Allow anyone to self-report attendance. Students can then visit their Event History to mark themselves as attended once the event has started.
- The manual upload option for importing attendance data from events now supports Zoom participant exports. You can find this option by clicking Add Attendance on your event, selecting the File Upload tab, and choosing Zoom as your file type.
- Make sure your student organizations are aware of the messaging functionality within the organizations. Primary Contacts and Positions with Full Access/Messaging Access can send messages to the entire organization, or specific positions/users within their groups.
- You can also use Messaging as an Admin, to send information to organizations based on their Type, Category, and specific Position Templates. Please note that messaging via Engage is not designed to replace any dedicated messaging platforms used by your campus, and should not be used to communicate emergency notifications.
Service and Volunteerism
- Many students and staff are trying to determine how they can still volunteer "virtually" and perform service work remotely. Accordingly, many not-for-profit and community organizations are beginning to highlight service opportunities that can be completed through online meetings. Campus Labs partners with GivePulse, the premier organization for listing, finding, coordinating, and measuring community impact.
Even if your institution does not leverage the GivePulse integration with Engage, we recommend creating a link in your Engage site (using alerts, news articles, or campus links) that points to https://www.givepulse.com/search/virtual. This will display a listing of service and volunteer opportunities for your students; from there, they can click on other filters on the screen to see opportunities that can be engaged in from afar.
Online Voter Registration
- As 2020 is a presidential election year in the United States, Engage’s extension with TurboVote allows US students to receive voter registration assistance and sign up for election reminders. TurboVote has created a Campus Toolkit to help engage your student voters. TurboVote will continue to keep voters connected and informed on voting and election updates during this time.
- For voter registration in Canada, you can support democracy and civic participation by linking from Engage to Elections Canada, a nonpartisan voter engagement tool.
Additional Reminders and Tips
- Check your close dates for upcoming forms, elections, registration. You may need to extend to accommodate a new timeline. You may also need to close forms that are no longer relevant.
- Ask student leaders to update their rosters if possible, to have accurate records going into election and registration season, as well as to facilitate accurate messaging to student groups by your administrative team
- Encourage students to use organization forms to capture data they may have previously collected during meetings.
- Use Alerts on the homepage to bring attention to additional resources, trainings, or information. Remember that you can add links in Alerts.
- You may also want to share specific student-focused resources with your student leaders as they navigate any changes that are occurring on your campus. We encourage you to leverage the resources we’ve collected below to support those students at this time:
Again, we appreciate you and the work that you’re doing on your campus. We’re here as soon as you need us, either via phone or email. Additionally, if you need immediate assistance, you can always contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.