About Rockhurst University
students from Missouri
registered student clubs & organization
Presence has really changed our campus culture when it comes to engagement outside of the classroom. No matter which staff or faculty member I connect with, they've either heard about how we’re using Presence or they're asking more about it.Emma Garrett
Rockhurst University’s Student Life Office had an email problem. Since the university had no central system for submitting and processing event requests from student clubs and organizations, students and their org advisors turned to the only place they knew to ask questions: the email address for Student Life.
We would get bombarded with emails, and we wanted to become more efficient in providing an answer proactively. Waiting for students to attend trainings or send us last-minute emails—that’s what we did for years and it wasn’t the best system.Emma Garrett
No one liked this chaotic, unofficial system. It made students wait to get answers, which discouraged them from planning events. It made collaboration stressful for other offices across campus. And since two Student Life staff member spent so much of their day replying to emails, it prevented them from engaging with students in meaningful ways that boost connection and belonging.
Simultaneously, tracking data proved to be another major headache for Student Life. Event attendance, student club and org rosters, and details about past engagement opportunities were all logged in spreadsheets, which they saved to shared computer drives. Managing it all was extremely time-consuming and often inaccurate.
Rockhurst’s Student Life team knew they needed to find better systems In order to truly unlock the potential of student engagement and co-curricular development—and they needed their solutions to be user-friendly and easy to learn.
Luckily, Emma Garrett, Director of Student Life, knew that many peer institutions used and loved Modern Campus Presence.
The Solution & Results
Centralized processes make event registration easy and direct
Now, students and staff alike know they can find a universal event form for all co-curricular events in RockSpace, Rockhurst’s one-stop web portal and mobile app powered by Presence.
Taryn James, Assistant Director of Student Life, is thrilled to have a central event creation and management process.
Event registration through Presence has really changed how I do my job. I’m able to ask all the questions in one space and if students miss something, I can just reject the submission, and students will go in and fix it. We don't have to go back and forth on email a bunch of times.Taryn James
Similarly, Presence has centralized management for student clubs and organizations. Once again, students can head to RockSpace to register new orgs, upload new documents and fill out forms—such as their group’s constitution, event waivers and election ballots.
Garrett says centralizing management has been a game changer for student engagement and learning.
Presence has completely transformed our new student organization processes and policies for the better. It's saving me so much time in connecting with students. It not only helps us to be more efficient but also enables us to really advance student development.Emma Garrett
Visibility into student clubs, organizations and events enables better student support
Knowing the events student orgs were hosting each and every day used to require Rockhurst’s Student Life team to act like investigative journalists. They would have to email student leaders, search disorganized event calendars and stop by event spaces.
But with Presence, knowing when, where and what groups are hosting events requires just a few clicks in RockSpace. It’s like having a smart speaker or a search engine for their orgs.
Before, we could walk around campus and maybe see a poster or students gathering somewhere, but we didn't really know what was going on. Now, we just click, click, click and we’ll see — okay this group was in this room from this time to this time doing this specific activity. It’s been really helpful.Taryn James
This information has helped James and Garrett to better recommend upcoming events to students, hold groups accountable for cleaning event spaces and understand the day-to-day picture of Student Life.
Attendance data produces actionable insights
Data from Presence enables the Student Life team to spot attendance trends, which has prompted them to explore how and why certain demographics find out about events—and others do not.
James was especially surprised by which students do and do not attend events put on by the Student Activities Broad.
I noticed that there are not a lot of freshmen or seniors. Sophomores and juniors are the ones coming to these events. It’s the friends of students who are on the executive board who find out what events are happening and want to go. So, what are we gonna do differently to target those freshmen? We need to make sure they know what's going on right when they get to Rockhurst.Taryn James
Data drives promotion and storytelling
To James’s point, Presence is helping Student Life target students even before they enroll.
We never had an opportunity to show prospective students how they can get engaged on our campus besides listing the student organizations on our website. But now, prospective students can go to RockSpace. They can check out what organizations we have, as well as what events are happening. Being able to share our story—and the value Student Life brings to Rockhurst—in such an accessible, easy way is really great.Emma Garrett
Garrett is also excited that she can fully—and concretely— share how robust engagement is at Rockhurst and how much it’s continuing to grow.
Presence helps us share the Student Life story. We are able to share how many student organizations we had last year compared to this year and how many students are engaged in those. We’re really able to showcase what our office brings to the table for the student experience.Emma Garrett
Intuitive processes boost buy-in campus-wide
Integrating Presence into campus culture has been easy, largely thanks to how intuitive students and staff say it is to use. Better yet, Presence’s benefits are clear—not just to staff who use it every day but also to students.
James is thrilled by the strong student buy-in, which was on full display during a recent meeting in which a student proposed a creative way to use Presence—before James even brought the possibility up.
I never met with the student one-on-one to talk about how and why to use Presence. They've just used RockSpace on their own and have seen the benefits for themselves. From their own experience as a casual user, they inherently knew Presence could be a key implementation piece for an event that's coming up. It’s really heartwarming to see that students are learning and adapting and they know that this is gonna be the future at Rockhurst. They’re fully jumping on board.Taryn James
Students have also quickly come to value Presence in guiding their decision-making. They frequently use engagement data and demographic trends to determine what days and times would attract the most attendees at events.
Rockhurst may be a small university but Student Life’s smart use of Presence is helping co-curricular engagement loom large.
Rockhurst University's Favorite Features
Club, Org & Department Management
Attendance Patterns & Trends
Say goodbye to messy spreadsheets, crowded inboxes and dozens of phone calls. Trade it all in for one comprehensive form, customizable workflows and automated approvals.
Structure and maintain data to save time, better facilitate processes and promote engagement in a central, user-friendly and mobile-optimized space.
Unlock the full story of engagement at your institution. Analyze participation over time to visualize trends, identify patterns and gather key insights to drive growth and showcase your impact.
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About Modern Campus
Modern Campus is obsessed with empowering its 1,200+ higher education customers to thrive when radical transformation is required to respond to lower student enrollments and revenue, rising costs, crushing student debt and even school closures.
Powered by Omni CMS, DIGARC, Presence and Destiny One, the Modern Campus modern learner engagement platform enables innovative institutions to create a “learner to earner” lifecycle that engages modern learners for life.
Delivering massive personalization, AI-driven recommendations and a modern e-commerce engine, Modern Campus creates a student-first digital experience and removes silos across campus. Presidents and provosts, marketing and IT teams, admissions, registrars, student affairs and CE divisions can partner to attract, enroll, empower, retain, credential and re-engage students with pathways for lifelong learning.