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The Co-op Board of Directors approved a Student Government Association request for more than $20,000 in supplemental funds for a new software package Thursday, leaving only $2,000 in the supplemental budget for the remainder of the school year.
At the Board of Directors meeting in the Knowlton Board Room, SGA requested $21,580 to pay for the enterprise license needed to purchase CollegiateLink, a software designed to help student organizations, in addition to the funding they are already allotted by the Co-op Association.
The license will need to be renewed annually, but SGA’s request was only approved for the first year.
CollegiateLink would actually cost $23,738 the first year to cover the cost of installation, but SGA has money in its budget to cover the extra expenses, according to former SGA President Taylor Billman.
“This is a university-wide improvement for all organizations so by our mission, this is something that SGA would be drawn to and need to fund to make run,” Billman said.
Billman said the software would be beneficial for every organization financed by the Student Co-op.
“This would be a great tool,” Billman said. “I think this is a desperate thing that the SGA and Co-op need right now considering where the money for allocation is.”
The system has a number of facets, including finance and budgeting tools, that could help SGA control the allocation and approval process of student organization budgets.
Organization accounts may include an external ID number allowing them to tie records to university financial systems for reporting, reconciliation or check-cutting processes, according to the CollegiateLink website.
These processes will be implemented because there has been discussion through the university, SGA and Co-op about streamlining the process, Billman said.
A campus-wide election tool to help with SGA, Crimson Court and Co-op elections is included as well as a co-curricular transcript that lists all the organizations a student has been involved in on campus, like a resume for extracurricular activities.
SGA is also hoping to post training videos on the software that organizations would have to watch before submitting their constitutions and rerecognition forms.
The process will help with the accountability of organizations, Billman said.
“The organizations have to check off that they watched these training videos before they get approved,” Billman said. “This will develop their organizational skills to benefit the university as whole.”
Other features include online bulletin boards and news updates, individual webpages for each organization, budget notifications and a place to log service hours, according to the CollegiateLink website.
SGA will set up the system over winter break and start learning how to use it next semester.
“This would be a huge learning curve with the size of the software, and this needs time to generate out knowledge and understanding in how it works,” Billman said.
CollegiateLink would be mostly run by SGA members with some assistance from the Center for Student Life to run the back-end functionality of the software.
A few other Pennsylvania universities such as Slippery Rock and Drexel universities use CollegiateLink.
“I was told that the students [at other universities] enjoy it a lot more than other forms of communication,” Billman said.