Soren Frantz / Photo Editor

The OwlNet is live.

There is now a central hub for all student organizations to inform students of their meetings and events. The management system will also allow organizations to have a ‘file cabinet’ for all of their administrative forms and documents. The Student Center Programs Coordinator Brandon Carta said that he hopes it will help student e-boards stay organized in the future.

“It’s a tool that will help students figure out how to get involved on campus and help our organizations operate a little bit better,” said Carta.
The network both holds the documents that the organization needs to function and makes it accessible for future members.

“You’d be surprised how many groups are like, ‘We have a constitution, but we haven’t seen it in like seven years and we don’t know where it lives,’” said Carta.

“Now it will live [on the OwlNet]. It will always live in that document space. That’s also where people can put minutes and anything else that will help them operate. So from year to year, those documents will always stay unless someone deletes it.”

Carta is new to the Student Involvement and Student Center staff, but he has worked implementing this type of management system at two campuses prior to coming to Keene State. He mentioned that one of the things that came up in his interview for his position was the creation of this type of system for the Keene State campus.

“I worked at two campuses before this and I had implemented a system like this and it just so happens that when I applied to this position, part of my interview was that they were looking for someone that had experience kind of creating a system or bringing a system in. We basically paid Presence to use their system.

They are the ones that actually developed the system, but we can make it ‘Keene Statey’ and for our groups.”

The goal of OwlNet is to make it easier for students to get involved on campus and find the organization that will become their home. Ultimately, it is a new way for students to browse organizations online. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, recruitment for various student groups has looked very different this year, but OwlNet is expected to help streamline this process.

“In the network, if you go and search through any organization’s actual page, there’s a contact button for every single one. Anyone can contact any organization and it will automatically email someone from that organization that they have selected to receive those messages,” said Carta. “It’s pretty cool because we never had anything like that beforehand. People would have to DM (direct message) each other on Instagram to try to figure out when people were meeting so this is now a central place where people can see this. Every single organization has their meeting time and location on their page.”

About half of the student organizations on campus currently have a page on the OwlNet, but Carta emphasizes that there are a lot of features that will be coming in the next few semesters that students should keep an eye out for. This includes the ability to record events in a transcript, as well as new pages from other departments on campus.

“If you log in, you will actually be able to see all the events you attended and then, over time, what we eventually want to do is build in some co-curricular transcript pieces so you can see, ‘Over my time at Keene State, I went to seven events that helped me with my critical thinking skills,’” said Carta.

“We are hoping [community living], ASPIRE and some other campus departments will jump on too to show their events or different services.”

The network is still developing, but students should check it out on the Student Involvement website at https://www.keene.edu/life/si/.

“We are excited that it has worked and that we were able to roll out for the semester. We want to get some more people involved,” said Carta.

Meeghan Somerset can be contacted at:

msomerset@kscequinox.com

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