This archived article was written by: Mara Wimmer
Due to technology, it is easier than ever to communicate. People can share information over vast distances or spread the information amongst a large number of people. With the click of a button, or the tap of a screen, data can be sent anywhere. In years previous, USU Eastern tried various methods of contacting the student body and spreading campus information; however, none have been successful.
“We realized there was not a good median to communicate with students about activities that were going on,” student body president Ben Bjarnson said. “We have tried several things. We tried text messaging, we tried emails, we tried phone calls. Phone calls were the shortest lived, it is really difficult to call 5,000 people.”
In Feb. 2015, USUE started using a new method of communication, they started using a USU Eastern app. In the initial stages of the use of the app, there was a small publicity push. During this time, accessing the app was complicated. A student would have to download one app and register with USU Eastern’s section of the app. Now students can go onto the App Store and find a single app.
“Just the amount of steps involved, even I got bored of looking at [the old app],” Bjarnson said. “So, our advisor Evette [Allen] was able to communicate with the people who run the app and they gave us a great, great deal on this app.”
With the help of the original app and its developers, USU Eastern is creating an app catered to the students’ needs. While the app is not in its final stage, it is getting updates regularly. Every couple of weeks students can expect to see changes and updates to the app as new events are added and old ones removed.
“We are open to suggestions as to what we can do to improve it,” Bjarnson said. “Short of build in Netflix.”
Unlike craigslist and Amazon, the app is meant for more informative and social manners instead of a marketplace to sell belongings.
Bjarnson hopes to reduce the amount of marketing the app is used for and increase its use for its original intent. “[The app] is not really the place to do that type of thing, And so, I have heard a number of complaints from students about that.
“We are not trying to hinder all communications. Obviously if something bad were to happen on campus it would be great to get the word out. If there is an activity or something fun on campus, I think it is a wonderful way to get the word out.”
With the use of the app, on-campus school involvement has increased and students are getting more involved. The endgame of the app is to create a stronger sense of unity and school spirit by connecting the students. USU Eastern students are one student body. In order to accomplish this goal feedback is welcome. Students can email Bjarnson at ESApresident@usu.edu or call 435-613-5551 and leave a message.