Briton Bash, Albion’s annual student organization fair, is this evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Unlike most years, however, this year’s Briton Bash will be held virtually.
Keeping up with Albion’s COVID-19 outbreak prevention policies, this year’s Briton Bash will take place from the comfort and safety of wherever students want to log on. This will be done using the CampusLabs student organization program, Engage.
Originally planned to start use in the Spring 2020 semester but pushed forward to Fall 2020, Engage is an online platform that serves as a one stop shop for student organizations and students.
“We were already planning on launching Engage this semester, so it just worked out really well,” said Kristen Sarniak, assistant director for Greek life and student organizations. “It’s an additional tool that can be used in the virtual space for us to help manage and communicate in a safe way and in a way that’s accessible.”
Engage allows student organization leaders to register and manage their organizations in one place. The platform allows leaders to utilize tools for public engagement, such as postings for events, news and photo galleries. Leaders also have access to tools for internal use within their organizations, including rosters, forms and elections.
“It’s not only for student organization management,” said Sarniak. “Students can go and search what they’re interested in, and groups will pop up if they’ve identified it’s something their organization deals with.”
Using the recently released virtual student organization fair function in Engage, all registered student organizations will be available for interested students to view and interact with. In place of tables, there will be individual Google Meets hosted by organizations for students to join and ask questions.
“They can ask what membership is like,” said Sarniak. “It’s really trying to mimic that experience of talking live with somebody from an organization about their experience and the different ways they’re involved on campus.”
Along with tabling, sign up sheets have also met their virtual counterpart. Rather than just signing up for an organization’s email list, students are able to instantly request membership and be added to an organization’s roster.
“Students are free to explore any time within that 5 to 8 period,” said Sarniak. “As long as the panelists available at the table have the Google Meet link, they can be present as long as they want.”
As organizations adapt to the new normal, Sarniak hopes this virtual event will cater to all students looking to get involved.
“I’m hoping this is a way for people to find where they want to get involved and where they feel comfortable,” said Sarniak. “It’s low pressure, you won’t have people shouting at you, you’re not in a big crowd of people, and people can log on wherever they feel comfortable. I’m hoping that will fulfill that need.”
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