News

Apps a popular method for student organization promotion

STUDENTS WILL BE able to follow the activity of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) from their smartphones when the SFUO officially launches its new mobile app the week of Jan. 30. Compatible with Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry phones, the app will inform students about SFUO events and services happening on campus.

“We are really excited to launch the mobile app,” said Paige Galette, vp communications for the SFUO. “This is one of the many new programs we are offering to our members this year. It will help us promote our other new programs and events, such as the tax clinics, the housing registry, and the numerous activities planned by our services.”

The app will also alert students of discounts they can receive with their Student Saver and International Student Identity Cards in stores in and around campus.

The launch of the app brings the SFUO in line with other student unions, like those at the University of Toronto and McGill University, which are already using the mobile applications.

“Many student unions across the country are using the mobile app to connect with their students,” said Galette. “It’s a fun, new, and innovative way to inform our members of the upcoming events, as well as interacting with students on campus and other campuses in the country. The mobile app is another way to stay connected with our members.”

The SFUO contracted OOHLALA Mobile to design the new app. The company, which was founded in September 2011 for students, by students, has designed apps for student federations across the nation.

According to Danial Jameel, OOHLALA founder, the desire for apps is high because of how effective the technology is for communicating with students.

“A lot of student organizations do realize that with new social mediums coming they have to learn how to engage,” said Jameel. “They have to find an effective way of keeping in touch with students.”

Jameel said students paying fees want to know what their student federation is doing and a mobile app is an effective way to stay updated.

“By building the mobile app, it is a lot easier for student organizations to send a notification or put up an event and get feedback from students in real time,” said Jameel. “It allows students to be aware of their student organization by checking out events, seeing the campus maps, playing games, and doing more things that are relevant on campus.”

Galette said the app will be available on the SFUO website, Sfuo.ca. Any feedback from students can be directed to the vp communications over phone, email, which can be found on the website, or through the app. 

—Christopher Radojewski