DeKALB — The Student Government Association is considering ending its contract with Campus Labs, the current provider of HuskieLink, in favor of a platform called Presence, Speaker of the Senate Ian Pearson said.
Presence is a software for assisting student organizations with resource allocation, assessment practices and student involvement, according to its website.
The SGA paid $25,248 for HuskieLink in 2019, according to a financial detail report. Pearson said the university would save money if it were to switch to Presence, although he didn’t have an estimate for how much would be saved.
Pearson said the switch from Campus Labs to Presence would be a complete transition, rendering the former platform obsolete.
“My understanding is that [Presence] would still be called ‘HuskieLink,’” he said. “But it’d just be a different [user interface].”
Pearson said he was impressed with the platform’s workflow feature when he demoed Presence with other SGA leaders. The feature allows the user to plot out a path of approval-granting SGA members for sending along electronic documentation.
“What Presence offers is the ability to say, ‘OK, you need to get three people to sign off on it,’” he said. “You can have the paper or form go to each of these people individually.”
The SGA Senate uses Campus Labs for submitting community service forms, and Pearson said there isn’t a way for multiple users to sign off on one document. Presence allows for a pattern to be programmed in, so the document can travel electronically from one user to the next in order of approval stages.
“That way, they’re creating some type of path for forms to follow,” Pearson said. “It increases efficiency, and it allows us to be on the same page.”
Pearson said the process of switching platforms could take around six months if the SGA decides to move forward with this plan, although it’s unclear at the moment what that process would look like.
“My best guess is that we would look to space it in such a way that it doesn’t disrupt a semester,” Pearson said. “I don’t definitively know [if] that’s feasible, but the idea would be … [if] we do this now, by the next academic year, we can have it swapped over, and there’ll be a seamless transition.”