New AMS club management software debuts to mixed reviews

The AMS has changed its club management software to Clubhouse after the end of its contract with the previous software, Orgsync. The new software will be more user-friendly and intuitive, according to Chris Scott, AMS VP Administration.

“What we were finding was that there was too high of a barrier to use Orgsync. It was all just kind of a mess,” he said. “What we were looking for was something you could use without logging in, something you could see and interact with, and also something that’s easier to find and navigate.”

Clubhouse is meant to solve these issues, but the switch was also motivated by a cost factor. Orgsync costed the AMS about $40,000 a year, while Clubhouse will cost $12,000 the first year and a maximum of $18,000 in the years following.

The transition to the new software, which began in early January, hasn’t been completely smooth. While some have found the new software to be an improvement, others are frustrated with technical hiccups.

Amrit Toor, Model United Nations Students Association VP External, has had a positive first impression of Clubhouse.

“In terms of just adding members and organizing, I have found it a little bit more intuitive than Orgsync,” he said. “Overall, I think I’m happier with it than I was with Orgsync.”

However, on an r/UBC Reddit thread titled, “WTF is going on with the AMS?,” several users complained about issues with Clubhouse and the supposed “incompetence” of the AMS in managing clubs.

Some of the complaints include the fact that files on Orgsync have not been transferred over to Clubhouse, clubs needing to be re-approved in order to use the software and the out-of-date Treasurer’s Handbook.

“The AMS has completely gone downhill in the past 2–3 years in regards to club organization. So much incompetence especially around the time of the move from the old SUB to the Nest,” wrote Reddit user “cheapmondaay.”

In response to the thread, Scott said, “I can’t speak for the [Reddit] user, but I think we’re on our way to improving a lot of the things that he or she mentioned. Hopefully we can see that resolved over the next few months.”

Jake Larson, the IT manager of UBC Dance Club, has also had a negative experience with the new software, saying that even the first step of trying to register the club in Clubhouse was full of glitches.

“It kind of reminds me of Connect in a way in that it’s super bloated, has way too much stuff, really isn’t suited for what we actually need and in my opinion, is going to work in the exact same way that Orgsync did,” he said.

Larson expressed that while Clubhouse is more user-friendly than Orgsync, it’s still not user-friendly enough.

“I mean, I could totally be proven wrong. I’m not going to say it’s going to be the worst thing in the world, but I’m hesitant to say that it’ll be the proper fit for what the AMS wants,” he said.

Since the transition to the new software has begun, Scott, however, has said that the feedback the AMS has received has been generally positive.

“At all the training sessions that I did, I would ask, ‘Are you feeling good about this, okay about this or bad about this?’ And most people were in the ‘good,’ and the people who weren’t were in the middle of ‘meh’ and ‘good,’” said Scott.

“If there have been [any negative experiences], I'd encourage people to come let me know how I can better support them."

Some of the problems people are having should be resolved as the Campus Wide Login (CWL) becomes fully integrated into Clubhouse, allowing new members to be registered easily. By today, the Clubhouse site’s form function should allow the club executives to start applying for funding and grants.