SEAL reports EmConnect data to SGA


Carol Rangel Gomes

Assistant Director of SEAL Andrew Donahue gives a presentation on EmConnect’s community impact at SGA joint session.

By Andrew Brinker, Senior Investigative Reporter

The Office of Student Engagement and Leadership spoke with Student Government Association members about the progress of EmConnect, the college’s website for student organizations, during their weekly joint session meeting on Tuesday.

SEAL Director Jason Meier and Assistant Director Andrew Donahue led the discussion, focusing on the website’s recent growth and features that could be useful to students and organization leaders.

The college introduced EmConnect three years ago during the fall semester of 2016 with the intended purposes of making involvement more accessible to students and streamlining interactions between students and organizations.

One of the website’s key features is its space for event postings. Student organizations created and shared 1,380 unique events on EmConnect during the 2018-19 academic year, Donahue said

SGA also used the website for its 2019 spring elections, which drew 875 student votes.

“We’ve seen some pretty staggering growth across the board in student use of EmConnect,” Donahue said during the session. “Even in just this last year.”

From Aug. 26 to Sept. 30, 2018, EmConnect had approximately 32,000 page views. During that same period in 2019, the website’s page viewer count nearly tripled to over 95,000 page views, according to SEAL.

Donahue cited a recent decrease in Facebook use among younger generations as a possible explanation for the site’s growth. 

Prior to EmConnect’s inception in 2016, and even in the three years following, organizations often shared information about membership and events on Facebook. 

However, Meier said communication through Facebook is not inclusive to new students.

“When you’re not posting things in a public space, you’re not being inclusive to students who don’t have that Emerson social network,” Meier said during the session. “If we’re able to post things in a place that’s equitable, in that all people have access, then you can get that [information] in the hands of people.

Tuesday’s meeting also featured a presentation by Executive Treasurer Abigail Semple on the Financial Advisory Board and its practices.

Semple’s presentation focused on Annual Budget Requests and denoted that SGA allocated $806,995 in ABRs at the end of last year.

Semple additionally noted that SGA’s appeals account currently holds a balance of $245,770.

FAB will consider a late ABR on Thursday from the college’s newly SGA affiliated ultimate frisbee team, the Emerson Skunks.