GopherLink Profile

Promote Your Group Effectively

As new students enter the University, they are looking for ways to connect with other students and get involved on campus. In other words: incoming students are looking for student groups to join.

Your group should update your GopherLink profile for the upcoming academic year. The information below will outline recommendations on what to review on your profile page and how to make updates that are mindful of incoming students.

Note: Only student group officers have access to update a group’s profile page.

Click here to access the PowerPoint with visual instructions for updating your GopherLink profile.

General Tips and Guidelines for Profile Updates

GopherLink will be many students’ first or only impression of your group. Many incoming students will not interact with your group in the same ways that incoming students have traditionally interacted with your group. Activities fairs, in-person events, and other on-campus activities are taking place in virtual spaces or are severely limited. Incoming undergraduate, graduate, and professional students are being directed to GopherLink to explore student groups on campus. Take time to consider how you want your page to look and how to best communicate your group’s purpose, mission, values, and activities to incoming students.

Intentionally craft your group’s narrative. Each sentence and photo you add to your group’s profile helps build a story about your group to potential members and partners. Before you update your group’s profile, consider how you want to present your group to others and then strategize how to best communicate that vision through your profile.

Use language inclusive of the different students joining our campus community. Every semester our campus community welcomes thousands of people as undergraduate students, graduate students, and professional students. All of these individuals hold unique identities and come from different backgrounds. As you create content for your profile and beyond, use language that is inclusive of all identities:

In general:

  • Use language that is inviting to all students who could be interested in getting involved with your group.
  • Avoid language that may perpetuate stereotypes about different groups of people.
  • Use language that minimizes barriers to understanding or interpreting meaning from a variety of audiences.
  • Use gender-neutral words to refer to a non-specific large audience (e.g., people, students, individuals).

When promoting to new students:

  • Use “incoming students” for students who are joining the campus community as undergraduate, graduate, or professional students.
  • Use “incoming undergraduate students” instead of “freshmen” or “first-year students” for undergraduate students; there are transfer students joining the campus community too.
  • Use “incoming graduate/professional students” for students who are joining the campus community as graduate, or professional students.

Ask yourself: Would you be interested in joining your group if you saw the group’s GopherLink page?

Have other group members check your work. Including others in updating your profile will reduce the chances for typographical errors. It will also add to the quality of the information being provided.

Update Our General Profile Information

How to update this

To update your group’s description and additional information, a student group officer will need to do the following:

  1. Sign into the GopherLink Action Center using their UMN Internet ID and password
  2. Click on the student group they want to update
  3. Towards the top of the page, click on the menu icon. It looks like three horizontal bars on top of each other.
  4. Click on “About”

Once an officer is on the About page, consider updating the following fields:

  • Summary (Displays on the Organization Directory)
    • The summary is a brief description that appears in the GopherLink organization directory when someone searches for your group.
  • Full Description
    • The full description is the opening block of content on your profile page. This is a great place to discuss your group’s mission and purposes. You have the option to do some text formatting (e.g., bold text, center text). If you create a link to a YouTube or Vimeo video in the description, GopherLink will embed the video at the location of the link.
  • Contact Information
    • For mailing addresses: use either the Student Activities Office, your CLP Department’s mailing address, or your organization’s mailing address. We do not recommend using an officer’s mailing address as the address for the organization.
    • For email addresses: use either a group’s email address or an email address for the officer who is the primary contact for the group.
  • Social Media
    • Link your social media accounts to your profile to streamline your group’s online presence.
  • Additional Information
    • There are three questions that ask you to describe your group’s primary activities, how your group benefits the campus community, and how someone can get involved with your group. Each answer should give enough information for someone to understand what your group does.
    • Especially for how someone can get involved with your group:
      • Provide a brief description of the process of how someone becomes a member or gets involved with your group.
      • Give direct access to express interest in the group. For example: if there’s a membership application, link the application and describe what the review process is.
      • If there’s a website that has more information, link directly to the site.
      • Provide contact information for someone who can answer questions.

Tips to updating your General Profile Information

  • Make your group easier to find by integrating keywords into your About page: Any text in your group’s description or additional information is searchable on GopherLink or in a Google search.
  • This is your group’s first impression: Your group’s homepage on GopherLink describes your group’s primary activities and purpose, how your group impacts the campus and other communities, and (importantly) how someone can get involved with your group. Having clear, concise, and transparent information about your group on your profile page is incredibly important because new students will not have the traditional in-person ways to get to know your group.
  • Consider and minimize the potential for disproportionate or undesirable impact on those who need to follow certain steps if they want to get involved with your group.

Update Our Roster

How to update this

To update your group’s roster, a student group officer will need to do the following:

  1. Sign into the GopherLink Action Center using their UMN Internet ID and password
  2. Click on the student group they want to update
  3. Towards the top of the page, click on the menu icon. It looks like three horizontal bars on top of each other.
  4. Click on “Roster”

Review this guide to learn how to manage and update your group’s roster.

Once an officer is on the Roster page, consider the following:

  • Add/Update the Primary Contact
    • The Primary Contact is an officer or central student group email that is checked frequently who will receive and respond to questions and join requests from your group’s profile page.
  • Update Officers and Advisors
    • Add incoming officers, remove outgoing officers, and update who is in which officer positions
    • If applicable, update your group’s advisor’s information. For Campus Life Programs, you must have your Campus Life Program Advisor and Department Head on your roster.

Tips to updating your Roster

  • Your group must have all officers listed on its roster. Any person on your group’s roster can click here to manage their privacy settings if there are concerns about publicly displaying their membership status in the group. Student group officers are visible by default.
  • Make sure all the officers, especially the primary contact, receive emails from GopherLink. Occasionally GopherLink emails end up in Spam folders. Have a group member click the “Contact” and “Join” buttons to make sure that GopherLink emails are coming through to the right email address.
    • If they are not, try the following:
      • Make sure your notifications in GopherLink are set so you can receive emails from GopherLink.
      • If a GopherLink email is sent to your Spam folder, navigate to your Spam folder and mark the message as “Not Spam” to prevent future GopherLink emails from being marked as spam.
      • Contact the Student Activities Office at sao@umn.edu for additional troubleshooting help.

Update Our Photos and Videos

How to update this

For videos: you can embed YouTube and Vimeo videos in your group’s Full Description. See “Description and Additional Information” above for more information.

For photos: you can add photos to your group’s gallery on GopherLink. To update your group’s gallery, a student group officer will need to do the following:

  1. Sign into the GopherLink Action Center using their UMN Internet ID and password
  2. Click on the student group they want to update
  3. Towards the top of the page, click on the menu icon. It looks like three horizontal bars on top of each other.
  4. Click on “Gallery”

Review this guide to learn how to add and manage photos on your profile page.

Once an officer is on the Gallery page, consider the following:

  • Add photos that represent your group.
    • Images and other media can share a particular narrative about your group. Consider what narrative you are advancing with your posts. You may want to include flyers or logos for your group, photos of members, or collages of events your group has held.
  • Consider which photos you want to appear on the front page of your profile page.
    • You are able to designate which photos appear on the front page of your profile page. Consider which photos highlight your group’s activities, membership, and mission.

Tips for adding Photos and Videos

  • Add clear and concise descriptions/captions to photos: Providing a descriptive caption for each photo encourages accessibility within your group. Descriptions should be clear, concise, and detailed.
  • Add accurate captioning to videos: Adding accurate video captions encourages accessibility within your group. Review the resources for captioning video from the Disability Resource Center.

The GopherLink platform will have a new look in late-September 2020. The following information from your group’s profile will be transferred to the new platform:

  • Group name
  • Administrative information such as classification, standing, and student group ID number
  • Group description
  • Additional information such as the answer to the three questions on your profile

Other information should be archived in a shared folder (i.e., Google Drive) so you can add that information back to your profile once the GopherLink upgrade is complete. More information about the GopherLink update is coming soon.