A new app is currently in development for Humboldt State students. Its primary focus would be to connect students better with the AS board and campus life. The app would also offer exclusive local deals and give students a place to easily find and join clubs.
Bruce Twersky, the lead developer for a company called App Builder U, pitched the new HSU app during an AS board meeting last Friday. Twersky had already developed a demo app for his sales pitch that he made available to members of the board. App Builder U’s application would cost the school a one-time fee of $5,000 and a monthly maintenance fee of $500.
“We’re basically going to put all of the Associated Student’s information [on the App] and combine that with a bunch of student discounts – pretty simple right? Kind of revolutionary. No one’s ever done this before,” said Twersky.
Twersky’s demo for the HSU app had multiple functions. For one, it acted as a way for the AS board to directly communicate with students about upcoming events through push notifications. The app also included an interactive campus map that allowed students to find specific locations through a search function.
As a part of the deal, App Builder U employees would set up exclusive deals with local and national businesses that would be accessible through the app. App Builder U has already developed several other apps for different campuses. To see how useful these deals could actually be, you can download the app they developed for Riverside City College.
The RCC app has quite a few deals available. However, the deals aren’t all exclusive to the app, many of which are already available to students. Quite a few of the deals are only available through the first-time download of apps from other establishments.
One function that looks particularly useful is the club page. Here, students can browse the different clubs available on campus and find contact information to join the clubs.
Overall, the app is simple and easy to navigate with several features that could be mildly helpful. Nothing about it is necessary or groundbreaking, yet the app could still be beneficial in raising student participation.
Now the question remains, will this app make it through the review process? For the most part, the AS board seems receptive to the idea.
External Affairs Representative, Rosa Granados was enthusiastic about the idea for a new app, citing back to when she was a freshman moving from Southern California and how this app offers resources that could have helped her as a new student.
“I really would love to see this expand through, you know, adding wellness services groups as well,” said Granados.
She explained how the app could be useful in connecting different groups and resources to students who are unaware of what’s available.
The app still faces approval by the Student Disability Resource Center before it’s released. Dr. Eboni Ford Turnbow reminded the board of the process an app has to go through before publication.
“Institutionally, before you would decide, this would need to go through an accessibility review through the accessibility department on campus,” said Dr. Turnbow.
Twersky was confident that his app would be able to successfully go through this process but the board cannot make a decision until the app passes through the accessibility department’s review process.
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