Instead of taping posters across campus, student organizations at DePauw University can now publicize their events through an app.
ConnectUS is an app available to DePauw students and student organizations that allows organizations to post events taking place across campus.
The app came about through a collaboration between DePauw Student Government (DSG) and senior Kevin Keene. After talking with members of the campus community, Keene saw that the campus needed a way to make students aware of the events happening on campus.
ConnectUS was created to be an online forum where students can subscribe to clubs they want to view. Keene said it gives student leaders an outlet for their events to improve attendance and awareness.
Student body president, senior Claire Halffield was approached by Keene at the end of last year to develop the app. “We needed a way for students to find out about what was happening on campus and to reduce the over scheduling of events,” Halffield said.
The app was funded through savings and grants that were awarded to Keene. “I received the Social Entrepreneur grant through Prindle and added that to the money I saved and what DSG gave me, which gave me enough to start development,” Keene said. “Since it is a long term project, I expect more money will be put into the app as it gets developed.”
Keene spent all summer working with a team to develop the vision he had for the app. ConnectUS launched in late September at a DSG meeting and is currently ready to be used by the student body. Students can download the app and login with their DePauw email and any password, according to Halffield.“They now have access to all organizations that are posting their events,” Halffield said.
Students can subscribe to the organizations that interest them, and those are the events that will show up on their newsfeed. Halffield also mentioned that students can subscribe to tags and any event that is posted on that tag will also show up.
Currently, a majority of the students who use the app are in student organizations. For each organization that uses the app, there are about 10-15 students who make use of it, according to Keene. Keene was unaware of how many students outside of the these organizations have downloaded ConnectUS.
First-year Senator, Kate Flynn wants to see more organizations using the app. “It’s easier to keep track of when events like sports games and club events are occurring because I can just check my app,” Flynn said.
President of the Asia Club, senior Di Shao, is still trying to figure out how the best way to use the app to get the word out about her events. “It’s not that people aren’t interested in Asian cultures,” Shao said. “We think more people would come if they knew about it.”
Future versions of the app are already being developed according to Keene. The app has already been updated once to include a full calendar with events filled in based on a student's interests. “Eventually we want to allow push notifications to go to student’s phones when a new activity is created or when an activity is happening so more people go,” Keene said.
Keene expects the number of people using the app to grow as more people hear about it.“It’s an app meant for the student body,” Keene said. “What they want, we can aim to provide for them.”