‘Club Census’ to record student participation

AMS, Advancement propose ‘non-academic transcript’ to track extra-curricular involvement

Starting next month, students will be able to record their extra-curricular involvement on the AMS website and, in the future, print out a non-academic transcript to attach to resumés and graduate school applications.

“We want to create an institutional memory for clubs,” said Max Rubin, AMS advancement and development officer, who has been working with the office of advancement on a student data collection initiative called “Club Census.” By having a membership record, clubs will be able to contact alumni for events or updates.

For three weeks in November and in March, students will be able to input their level of involvement in clubs, societies, activities and services on campus on myams.org.

Rubin, internal affairs commissioner Stephanie Ramsden and the office of advancement will cross-reference the data to make sure the student is involved in a club.

Community involvement outside of Queen’s won’t be included as an option on the website because it’s more difficult to measure and verify, Rubin said.

“Critics will say it’s just another resumé padder, but this is another way to say thank you, so what’s wrong with that?” he asked.

Rubin said he hopes the non-academic transcript, which would detail a student’s level of involvement in various campus clubs, will begin in five years, after data has been collected, can be used for job or graduate school applications.

“The transcript is exciting because it allows universities to officially recognize the importance of the broader learning environment.”

Rubin said any focus on the transcript itself is “a little premature.”

“Right now, the focus is to make Clubs Census a success,” he said.

Rubin said the data will also give the AMS statistics on who’s working where and who might be more involved than others.

“We get to see numbers, like who’s working at the ? Is there more involvement from engineering or more from commerce? It’s really interesting.” Rubin said that a privacy clause will allow students and alumni to opt out of having certain clubs or activities on their transcript or from being contacted by clubs in the future.

On Oct. 12, an amendment was made to AMS club constitutions that will require all AMS clubs to participate in Club Census in either the Fall or Winter term and to promote the initiative to club members. The motion passed unanimously.

Liz Gorman, manager of Students and Branches in Alumni Relations at the Office of Advancement, said the idea came out of a taskforce set up by the Principal to look at alumni relations.

One of the recommendations was to develop a system to track student activity at Queen’s.

“After people have left, they want to reconnect with those teams,” she said, citing an example of clubs who set up reunions during Homecoming. “Right now, we lack the data and often we miss people.” Craig Enns, Sci ’07, is applying for jobs now and said a non-academic transcript would help because it’s more official.

“On applications, they want you to list [involvement like] leadership, sports and clubs. If you can send something like that, it’d look a lot more official,” he said, adding that going to an interview with a transcript prepared shows initiative on the students’ behalf.

“If you’re involved in activities, it’ll help you. It would give an advantage for people who take the initiative,” he said.

Kate Byers, ArtSci ’10, said it’s a good idea but she’s not sure if she’ll use the website.

“Theoretically you could write all the stuff down yourself,” she said. “It doesn’t seem like it’s hugely beneficial. You could probably get references anyway. Will it change anything?”

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