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A new hub of activity and information

Last spring, the office of student activities and the Lehigh Student Senate bought new software to serve as a social networking database for Lehigh’s clubs and organizations.

Students came up with a catchy name for it, The Hub. They designed a logo for it, and they’ve used it for everything from online voting in Senate elections to staying in the loop about upcoming events on The Hub’s Virtual Flyer Board.

As students and staff become better acquainted with The Hub, says Matt Kitchie, director of student activities, the new tool promises one day soon to serve as a “virtual campus center.

“I think the Hub will become the primary location for the Lehigh community to find out what’s happening on campus,” says Kitchie. “This year, in phase one of The Hub, we made sure that Student Senate and the 150 clubs and organizations were using The Hub.

A targeted survey is only a click away

“Other groups—such as the Gryphon Society and the office of residence life—have been early adopters of The Hub. They find it handy because the contact info for all undergraduate students was imported into the system in August, so Gryphons can directly communicate news and events to people in a specific residence hall or even a specific floor of that hall. Or they can conduct a quick survey of people in a hall to see if a program is meeting their needs.”

Students, faculty and staff can access The Hub from the portal by clicking on the button next to the e-mail, Blackboard and Banner buttons or by visiting its Web site. Instructions for using The Hub are available by clicking here.

The Hub serves three primary audiences, says Kitchie. Students use it to find out events that clubs are planning or to search for clubs or organizations they want to join. Student clubs, whose web pages can be accessed from The Hub’s Web site, use it to publicize events, recruit members and manage finances. Campus offices use The Hub’s Virtual Flyer Board to publicize events and to take advantage of its online registration features. The office of student leadership development accepted nominations for this month’s Student Life Leadership Awards online.

Nearly 150 colleges, including the University of Virginia, Duke and Brown, have club networking systems similar to The Hub, Kitchie said.

“The club management systems on these campuses have helped increase communication among organizations and create a central location to learn about what’s happening on campus,” he said. “It’s happened here as well. In fact, the company that provided us with the tool, Collegiate Link, points to Lehigh as one of the schools that is best using the tool.”

There are many interesting tools on The Hub, including a co-curricular transcript function, which will allow each Lehigh student to customize a transcript of their campus involvements for future employers.

To learn more about The Hub and to set up a presentation to demonstrate how the tool can benefit your office, email Kitchie at mak608@lehigh.edu.

Story by Bill Doherty

Posted on Friday, April 09, 2010

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