Print Edition: July 17, 2013
Expect to see a much more technology-friendly SUS this September.
The Student Union Society will be launching a new mobile app and a redesigned website so that students will be more up-to-date on what events are happening on campus.
President Shane Potter elaborates on the move to modernity.
“Because not all students are on campus all the time, we want to make sure students are able to access our services, know about our events, know about the things that we’re doing through the most modern means possible,” he explains. “I can reach more students through a website or through a mobile app than I’ll ever meet in real life. So that’s really the directions we have to go in getting with the times.”
The app is already designed and being used by other universities across Canada. Students will sign on using their banner ID and be able to view class schedules and rooms as well as receive notifications regarding events on campus.
However, with the app comes a scaled-back production of the SUS student agendas. They will still be provided next year, but Potter likens their decline in use to the decline of the phone book.
“[Former SUS president Carlos Vidal] is still president if you open up an agenda right now. It shows how old the information can be,” he says. “The agenda is great for writing down classes or writing down a to-do list, but more and more people are moving towards the smart phone.”
On top of the app, SUS is hoping that a redesigned website will make their services more accessible. As it is right now, the website provides information, but student clubs still need to fill out a paper form in order to apply for funding. Potter hopes to eliminate this paper use.
For the website redesign, SUS is hiring a UFV student as opposed to outsourcing to a web development company.
“Why am I going to pay some guy from some XYZ company when I can give that money to a student that can pay their tuition next semester?” he asks. “I believe in students, I know the calibre of students that we have here and I’m always going to make sure that our students have the first chance for any opportunities that this society has.”
As far as cost for the two technological upgrades, Potter is not concerned.
“The money that we’re not spending on agendas this year, we’ve spent on website improvement and the app. The money is there, it’s just reallocating,” he says.