Navigators Student Association Groningen


Sophie Lemson is Abactis and “digital door” (her own words) at the N.S.G.. Her responsibilities include internal communications, membership records and the App. The association has been using the App for several years now and members are extremely happy with it. 

Hi Sophie, can you tell a little more about the association?

We are the largest Christian student association in Groningen. This means that in addition to playful activities, we also give space to faith with the motto “Knowing and making known Christ.” So our activities consist of a mix of Bible studies, speakers, church services, get-togethers, galas and a real song contest. 

The society is made up of disputes spread across different year groups. Which provide a safe place for every member. The society has existed since 1994 and has owned its own society since 2013.

Why did you decide to deploy an App?

The App was there before I started doing governance. I understand that two former members once thought at the bar that an App for internal communication might be useful. That App was also rolled out then and we still use it today. It also has really useful things in it like upgrading our membership cards that we use to pay for our beers.

How long have you been using the App?

I think for about 10 years. Usage has been fairly steady each year but has increased substantially in recent years as one of my predecessors has made sure that the App is used even better and members are becoming more accustomed to an App.  

Why did you decide to deploy an App?

3 years ago, internal communication was rather messy, we had a private Instagram page but that did not work as well. We then used the Instagram page and the App side by side for a while, but that was eventually completely replaced by the App. Instagram is now used only for external promotion. All private communications are now exclusively in the App and all members know it. 

Who manages the App? 

I manage the App myself. It is very simple. I had to adjust some things to the new year. It took some setting up in the beginning, but now I don’t use the management as much and therefore don’t spend so much time on it – the most important things can also be done from the App. Really ideal. 

How do you put members and groups in the App? 

We linked the Socie App to Congressus, our membership administration software. Members are now imported automatically. I’m really happy about that.

Members log into our Congressus website and activate their account. They then link their membership card and are then ready to go.

Groups such as committees and disputes also automatically have their own place in the app. The big advantage is that group members can also post to the App on behalf of the group. For example, for an activity they are organizing. 

How do you deploy the App? 

We really use all kinds of things. Anyway, the message board and upgrading member passes  is used a lot. In addition, the App is used to exchange information between dispute chairs and committees. And the membership list, of course! In it, members can do a quick search for someone. Furthermore, the App is used for quickly checking information, such as who is on a committee. 

It’s really nice, we don’t have to give information to members ourselves anymore. Everything is at your fingertips. 

How do you like the App? 

I like the App. I think people are happy with it – before, we didn’t have it and didn’t see it. The website was convenient, but not always easy to find. Many people are happy with the App. 

What is the App called?

The app is called the N.S.G. App. That’s what we call him in our own communications. 

Will the App be used by the entire association or only by a specific group?

More than 80% of members do use the app. This is also because it was very much bet on. If you want to be involved, you just have to have the App. We have set up separate environments available exclusively in the App. And we have added many unique features and unique content. So we always say to members: look in the app.  

It has really become part of daily practice. 

How do you alert members to the App?

When new members pick up membership cards, it is said right away. It is also always referred to in communications so that people get used to it. Notifications come in to members, so they also alert themselves when there is news.

What has the app given you? Or what does the App provide you with? 

It makes people happy and it much easier to look up information. It is convenience, information and it is secure and also always available and up to date. 

Would you recommend the app to other organizations? 

Sure. When I see how convenient it is for us. In addition, in student unions you tend to have young students who are very dexterous with the App. So you can reach the people you want to reach very quickly. You have to have some body (many members) otherwise not much happens or the lines are much shorter. The app also provides connection and connection, with 420 members not everyone knows each other, but connection through the App is easily made. 

What wishes do you have around the App?

I see no functionality directly for our association, we are happy with it. 

Sophie Lemson


Navigators Student Association Groningen

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William van Rijn

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