Students’ Union new app, aims to connect all clubs

Photo by Jackie Vang

Wilfrid Laurier University’s Students’ Union’s new resource for clubs, The Perch, has now been released across all campuses. 

“Essentially, what it is on behalf of students, it’s like a Facebook for clubs where they’ll be able to go and access all clubs, associations and the events that they’re putting on,” said Sara Clark, vice-president of clubs and associations at Laurier’s Students’ Union.

At the presidents’ training for the website on Oct. 18, the website was also compared to Facebook on several occasions.

The app aims to connect students and clubs with each other. Depending on the requirements of the club, some associations can be joined directly through the website. 

“It’s just an easy one stop shop hub to get involved on campus,” Clark continued. 

At the very least, it will provide contact details for the executives — or “leaders” as they are called on the website — and the social media contacts for the clubs in order to find out how to become a member. 

The website also provides a change for presidents, executives and general members who are already involved on campus. 

The aim from this perspective is to streamline the approaches of clubs to all of the necessary information and forms for proper administration. 

“We’re now going to be managing all of our clubs and associations through this software,” Clark said. 

“In the past … there’s been a gap for students as to how they can get involved and have ac-cess to clubs and associations on campus,” Clark said.

Forms that were previously found on the clubs and associations subsection of the Students’ Union’s website are now available through The Perch, such as on and off campus event forms. 

By filling out the forms on the website, it also generates an event that members can mark that they are attending, similar to Facebook events. 

“We’ll be tracking all of their activities through the app,” Clark said. This is not unlike the system that was already in place for on and off campus event forms, but now all of the forms can be done through the new website. 

Clark also mentioned at the presidents’ training that filling out forms for reoccurring events should be much easier with the new software, as previous events’ information will be saved on the website. 

“It should generally look like this [going forward], but I think on behalf of clubs and their functionality with it, it will probably change a little bit,” she said.

Furthermore, the new website should streamline the Laurier Experience Record process. Ideal-ly, students’ extracurricular involvement will be uploaded through The Perch at the end of the year, but this aspect of the app is still in a pilot stage. 

The launch has not been without any hiccups, however. 

Club presidents who were required to attend the mandatory Perch training were also asked to not to follow along on the website during the demonstration because, as was the hypothesis of the presenters, it was unresponsive with so many people logged in at once. 

“Right now, I would say that this year is very much a pilot project with this. We’re testing it out, kind of seeing how it goes and then there will definitely be some changes to it just in terms of the functionalities,” Clark said. 

Overall, however, Clark is confident that the website will be a benefit to students across all campuses at Laurier. 

“In the past … there’s been a gap for students as to how they can get involved and have ac-cess to clubs and associations on campus,” Clark said. 

“This just seems like a really great way to for all students to just be able to go to one spot, be able to see everything and anything about how they can get involved.”

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