Wilfrid Laurier clubs and associations lose their “Perch” to rest on

The Wilfrid Laurier Students’ Union announced that it would no longer be using the clubs and associations platform The Perch, one of the main platform points of former president Tarique Plummer’s 2018-2019 presidency campaign.

The Students’ Union announced via email that the software company that previously hosted The Perch, CampusVibe, would no longer be providing the software, thus ceasing operations of the platform.

All clubs and associations have been advised to stop using the site to upload information and any documentation needed is now being hosted on the Students’ Union landing page until a sufficient new provider is found.

“Mid-December we received word from the software developer[s] that created The Perch were no longer going to be providing that software we use for the platform, so the last day is tomorrow and unfortunately we won’t have access to it,” said Kara McDowell, vice president of clubs and associations for the Students’ Union.

“In the meantime, we’ve moved all of the resources and everything that was really important on The Perch directly onto a new webpage on the Students’ Union website.”

The Perch was a project introduced in October of 2018 to allow clubs & associations one central hub to have events approved, book rooms, schedule events for other students to see and have members join their club.

“Everything’s still available – obviously it’s not in the formatting that we would like it to be, but it’s a temporary fix,” McDowell said.

Before The Perch, many clubs used Facebook’s events page to advertise upcoming events and relied on shares to get the word around, while The Perch was available for all students to access and see what events were happening from every club on each day.

“For this semester we’re just going to be using the temporary placement that we’ve created on the Students’ Union site, but we definitely have been starting conversations about looking into a new program management software for our clubs,” McDowell said.

“Whether that be looking for another software provider similar to CampusVibe, or looking into the possibility of a customized website that we would be able to manage a bit more on our own, we’re taking what we’ve learned, what we liked and didn’t like about The Perch and that’s what we’ll take for a site to hopefully kickstart for clubs on May 1.”

Though The Perch was a central hub for many campus clubs to interact with students and the Students’ Union in one central location, some communication between student executives and clubs came across unclear, leaving people without answers just days before an event.

“We’ve been directing students to the new webpage that we will continue to revamp, so students can click on “clubs” on the top toolbar and that has all the resources for clubs, a listing of all the clubs and everything they’ll need to access temporarily,” McDowell said.

Wednesday, Jan. 15 will be the last day The Perch sees life for Laurier students, but clubs and associations within the Students’ Union will continue to strive for transparency as well as accommodations and resources for student clubs.

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