By Kayla Perry, Editor-in-Chief
With technology becoming an ever-more prevalent part of the university experience, it comes as no surprise that the Students’ General Association (SGA) has decided to swap out the paper agendas usually ordered annually for a less expensive, interactive phone application for students to use.
The application, titled ‘SGA/AGE’, is compatible with iPhones and Android smart phones and can be downloaded free of charge.
The app will officially be launched during the upcoming frosh week, at which point SGA President Johnny Humphrey said he hopes “everyone” will download the app.
“So far, everyone who’s downloaded it seems to like it,” said Humphrey. “We like what we have so far, but we’re definitely looking to expand on it. Different departments and groups can also create pages. We’re hoping students are more responsive (with the app) – everyone always has their phone on them, whereas they may not carry an agenda with them.”
According to Humphrey, the association typically spent over $20,000 designing, printing and distributing the agendas annually – costs that will be saved this year with the free development of the application.
While the SGA did launch a similar app in the 2014-15 school year, Chloe Mirfield, former Director of Membership Services for the SGA, noted that the previous app was developed through a different company, and had many glitches in its system.
“I found many glitches and inaccuracies on the old app, and tried to work those out with the provider. They were unable to do so in a timely manner, so we stopped pushing the app,” said Mirfield. “The application didn’t work with our school and our demands, and the information we wanted on the app… On this application, we control everything.”
The new application features a calendar that links with Google calendars, a folder where students can learn about SGA job opportunities on campus, and an interactive Campus Wall, through which students and faculty can make posts, add friends, update their profile, and ask questions. All courses offered at Laurentian can also be searched through the application.
Kaitlyn Kargus, a Laurentian University student entering her third year in the French/Geography program, said the application is a good way to “get to know” Laurentian.
“The new app provides (the) services of a one-stop shop for information for students. Finally, students have somewhere to check out services, find upcoming events, and even check out all of the clubs on campus,” said Kargus.
As a student involved with many Laurentian clubs, including Laurentian SOS, the LU Hunting and Fishing Club and the LU Pipeland and Highland Dancers club, Kargus said she is “excited to be able to have all information in the palm of (her) hand” and would “highly recommend” the new application to all students and club members on campus.
The app was also used particularly often in the weeks leading up to campus move-in day, with students posting daily questions regarding move-in dates, times, buying and selling textbooks, and looking for rideshare opportunities.
Humphrey remains optimistic that the app will be popularly received during frosh week.
Humphrey also said that the SGA encourages all student feedback on the application, which can be provided directly through the app, or via emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.