Within the next month, student organizations will move their online activity from LearnLink to a new, internet database called Community. Community will provide students with easy access to a multitude of information regarding club activity, such as a calendar of events, contact information for individuals looking to join, and inter-group communication between club members.
We applaud the efforts of the Student Government Association (SGA) in mandating that student clubs and organizations need to sign up on Community in order to maintain their charter. This obligation is not a hard one to fulfill and will hopefully clear out clubs that no longer exist and make a more manageable system for SGA to work with, and we anticipate that compliance will be forthcoming and quick.
We do recognize that the sudden shift from LearnLink to Community may create confusion among students – particularly among juniors and seniors – who have become used to using LearnLink conferences to receive all of their club’s information. However, we feel that any confusion will be short term. The whole-sale and immediate move of Emory’s organizations to Community will not give students the opportunity procrastinate joining the new system. The Community database also serves as a good substitute for LearnLink as it provides many of the same functions that LearnLink presently provides.
We would also hope that Community will provide clubs and organizations confidential forums (as on LearnLink) in which organization executives and members can post. It was not made clear whether this particular LearnLink function exists with Community, and we hope for a clarification from the SGA.
Overall, the Wheel applauds the efforts of the SGA and the Office of Student Leadership and Service (OSLS) in moving the technology used at Emory forward towards Community. The University has already begun distancing itself from LearnLink in the adoption of Microsoft Office 365 and this is a good contribution to that advancement. As has been pointed out to the Wheel, more than 300 universities presently use Community. So long as clubs and organizations activly use the new database, there is no reason why it should not be a success.
The above staff editorials represent the majority opinion of the Wheel‘s editorial board.