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The Daily Tar Heel

CollegiateLink software underused

Students got a taste of what the Carolina Union’s new multipurpose software can do during Homecoming week, but campus officials said the program has been underused.

The Carolina Union purchased CollegiateLink — the software program used for Homecoming voting — last year for an annual cost of $9,500, said Jon Curtis, associate director of student activities and organizations, in an email.

But campus use of the program — which powers the website — wasn’t available until this summer due to a lack of employees in the Union.

Curtis said in an email that the program’s potential to help students find campus organizations they are interested in is available but not being used.

Curtis said he expected the software to be used by members of student organizations last year but staff cuts made that impossible, he said. The system was introduced to incoming students during orientation.

The program allows students to create their own profile pages which the system uses to suggest campus organizations and events they might like, Curtis said.

Student leaders have said they like the program because it allows them to advertise their events.

“Overall, I am pleased with Student Life,” Amanda Ellis, member of UNC’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said in an email.

“I believe it provides great tools for connecting with students who may already have an interest in an organization but may need more information about the organization’s activities,” Ellis said.

Curtis said the program has also allowed his office to conduct its work without paper.

“This has been a saving grace during the tough economics as a more efficient use of the fees students pay toward the operation of the Union,” he said.

But student leaders said the site still suffers from a lack of notoriety among students.

“It’s a great way to communicate, but we’re limited to what we can do with it because I don’t think a lot of people use it,” Jason Hallman, president of the Carolina Geology Club, said in an email.

Curtis said he hopes the number of students using the program will increase each year, and that its use is not limited to undergraduates.

“For our graduate and professional students, who have really honed their interests, Student Life will give them a chance to see what else is available outside their discipline on what might be a brand new campus for them.”

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