by John Voyles
Beginning this fall, North Park University is using a new platform to organize events, clubs, and activities on campus: CheckImHere. A gradual introduction to the student body had been in progress throughout the month of October, as clubs and organizations added their information to the new platform. Students can use the new NPU StudentLife app, compatible with Apple and Android devices, to view a calendar of events on CheckImHere and add them directly to their personal calendars. Students can also access organization pages for clubs they may be interested in, via a computer.
CheckImHere replaces OrgSyc, the platform NPU used from 2011 until last spring. "People didn't really use [OrgSync ]... only if they really had to ... not because they wanted to," explained GG Flint, Director of Student Activities. One of the biggest goals was to make sure the new platform is "easy as possible to use" for students, parents, and student leaders. CheckImHere's benefits include a more attractive design, less emphasis on imitation social media features and accounts, the ability to search organizations or tags, and mass e-mails from clubs and organizations.
Flint contacted the OrgSync company in hopes to "change to make it more useful to students" but found that the program became increasingly expensive, with an estimated price of $13,500 - $16,500 for the 2016-17 school year for a few new features. CheckImHere, a start-up company, costs less than half OrgSync's price and retains much of the same functionality.
Student leaders can now manage their own pages for their organizations. They can use CheckImHere to scan students' IDs and assess their involvement, allowing them to cater their organization to the needs of the students who actually attend events. Student Engagement officials can also evaluate demographics in this manner. The new CheckImHere site is live on North Park's website, features a tablet/mobile-friendly interface with an attractive design, and shows much more information to students and parents prior to logging in. A brief report of a glitch related to browser cookies was resolved in early tests.
While Student Activities is still waiting on constructive feedback from the student body, student leaders have given it a warm reception, "This seems like a really cool platform," one student informed Flint, with another noting that it was "easy to use."