New Student Organization Portal and Online Voting Platform (PDADC #2)
From: Sandy Welsh, Vice-Provost, Students
Date: July 5, 2022
Re: New Student Organization Portal and Online Voting Platform
I am writing to share news about two new and exciting student engagement projects that the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students (OVPS) is launching for the 2022-23 academic year. Your assistance in sharing these important updates with staff and faculty in your units who advise and support student organizations would be greatly appreciated.
Student Organization Portal
The OVPS collaborated with the student life teams on each campus and the Provost Division’s Information Systems team to develop a new platform for recognized student organizations, replacing Ulife. The new platform is called the Student Organization Portal (SOP) and can be found at sop.utoronto.ca. The SOP is the new recognition, events, opportunities, and resources hub for student organizations for the 2022-23 academic year onward. The current Ulife URL (ulife.utoronto.ca) has been redirected to the new platform until July 1, 2023.
The SOP soft launched in May 2022 to allow time to import and update existing data, train and orient staff and student users to the new platform, and to gather initial feedback to inform future enhancements as we slowly introduced the SOP to the University community. We also wanted to give lead time for units across the University to update their online spaces as well as ensure that materials for summer welcome events and fall orientation programming include up-to-date information. The SOP officially launched today.
Online Voting Platform for Student Organizations: Simply Voting
Starting in the Fall 2022 session, the University will be offering a new online voting platform to our student societies and course unions. After consulting with student leaders about their elections processes and needs, my office coordinated a request for proposal (RFP) process to source an online voting platform to replace U-elecT. The RFP review team included student leaders and student life representatives from each campus, the project lead from the original U-elecT project, Information Technology Services, and the Office of the Governing Council.
We looked for a voting platform that would provide a secure, modern, and robust user experience to manage student organization elections. These enhancements include greater flexibility in voting formats (e.g., plurality and preferential voting) and an easier process for generating voting lists. Simply Voting (simplyvoting.com) met the requirements and has signed a contract to host student organization elections for the next five years, with the option to extend.
We are thrilled to introduce the SOP and Simply Voting platforms for the 2022-23 academic year to enhance student co-curricular and leadership experiences across the University. We also look forward to hearing initial user experience feedback from the University community. If you have any questions about either of these initiatives, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.