Only two years into its existence, the Student Union Society (SUS) has decided to discontinue its app.
“We made the decision early in the summer to wind down the app,” SUS president Thomas Davies said. “It is still live on the play store / app store, although that will be ending shortly.”
Created by Oohlala, a platform dedicated to creating apps for universities, the app launched in the fall of 2013. It cost about $12,000 per year; to accommodate that cost, SUS discontinued its annual agendas which had been offered for years to students for free, and included information on campus life, events, and policies.
The app provided students with various services, including class schedules, textbook sales, campus events, and maps. But with over 800 downloads in its first year and a maximum of 2,000 uses per week, SUS has found that the app isn’t working as well as they expected.
“We felt there were better ways to focus our efforts and connect with students more broadly than what the app could do,” Davies explained. “Unfortunately, not everything we initially thought it could do it was able to produce. That was some frustration on our part, and we felt that we could achieve more success with different avenues.”
Some of these different avenues include working more closely with myCampusLife, UFV’s new online platform for students to connect and interact.
“The myCampusLife platform is relatively all-encompassing from a variety of student engagement platforms — we are working with Student Life on that project,” said Davies. “That also provides a central communication tool for all the clubs and associations in their groups, and more broadly; which was similar, but an expanded capacity to what the app could do.”
SUS has not yet determined what they plan to do with the funds freed up by discontinuing the app.
“That money will be available in the next budget cycle, and the budget committee will determine the best way to allocate that funding,” Davies said.