Students slow to register on The Hub
Published: Monday, August 20, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 01:08
After its inaugural year, The Hub, the online Miami University student activity website, has grown but has yet to accurately represent student involvement rates.
According to Katie Wilson, senior director of student engagement who was involved in the site’s creation, The Hub has become an online involvement center with a multitude of features including online event registration.
“Our vision expanded really quickly to include moving event registration online,” Wilson said. “This shifted our frame from a site to search student organizations, to one that serves the entire student body by providing an easy way to connect with involvement opportunities.”
According to Wilson, students can go to The Hub to look through the various events being held and pick those they’d like to attend. From fundraisers to picnics, students are presented with numerous opportunities.
According to Michael Trivelli, vice president of student organizations, The Hub plays a crucial role for organizations seeking funding from Associated Student Government (ASG).
“To be eligible for ASG funding the organization has to be registered on The Hub,” Trivelli said.
Even with all the features The Hub offers and the ASG funding criteria, the numbers show it has yet to reach its entire audience.
According to a report given at a Miami Board of Trustees meeting by Barbara Jones, vice president for student affairs, 7,424 students are registered for the 417 organizations listed on The Hub as of last school year. These numbers would suggest that only around half of Miami’s 14,936 undergraduate students are involved in extracurricular activities.
According to Jones, the number is actually much higher.
“In the latest national survey that was done, [Miami’s participation rate] was at 83 percent and the rest of the schools that are in our classification of universities were at 52 percent,” Jones said.
According to Jones, student involvement at Miami has surpassed norms for quite some time.
“[Participation] has really been consistently high at Miami,” Jones said. “We’ve always attracted a student body that wanted to be engaged.”
The number of students getting involved through The Hub may be lower because students aren’t yet familiar with the workings of the new site, Jones said.
“I think—with this being the first year of The Hub—students are still getting used to it and student organizations, so we may have some discrepancies there,” Jones said.
According to Wilson, the number of students and organizations listed on The Hub as of Aug. 14 has risen to 7,510 and 429 respectively. Though these numbers do not reflect Miami’s participation rate, Wilson said they do represent a successful first year for The Hub.
“[The Hub] is designed to create a one-stop shop for students to connect with student organizations and their events…” Wilson said. “Students love it.” Wilson said it’s like Match.com for student organizations. Students can list their interests and The Hub will select the organizations that fit them best.
“There’s something for everyone,” Wilson said. “If there isn’t a student organization that meets what you’re interested in you just need 10 members to create your own organization—10 members and an advisor.”
Dan Baker, president of the Academic Team, said that in addition to matching students with opportunities, The Hub also helps small organizations grow.
“I think [The Hub] has been a great thing,” Baker said. “We’re a pretty small student organization, so it’s great for getting our name out.”
Baker said The Hub is already user-friendly with the features it currently offers and that more students should utilize it for their own benefit. Wilson, Jones and Baker agree that The Hub’s popularity will increase over time.
However, Sam Clark, the main contact on The Hub for Club Dodgeball, said the website needs advertising.
“I had never heard of it until at the end of last school year when I signed up as the primary contact…” Clark said. “I dislike the lack of advertisement and awareness of the Hub. I would make it more publicized and known around campus.”
Baker said making The Hub well known to incoming students is key to increasing the website’s popularity.
Jones said the goal is to make the website known so it can work to its fullest potential.
“I think [The Hub] has done very well for its first year,” Jones said. “Obviously, as we continue, we want to make sure that all the new students coming in understand that it’s there, and encourage all students to use it as a way to get involved at Miami.”