After implementing a new software system in fall of 2016, Saint Mary’s University is keeping the ball rolling on its technology initiatives by piloting a new student involvement mobile app.
The app, Cardinals Connect, is essentially a one-stop-shop making a variety of resources, from the dining menu to the final exams schedule, available to students wherever they are.
Dean of Students, Charissa Jakusz, said the hope with Cardinals Connect was to offer students an accessible platform where they could engage, communicate, and keep up with campus events.
Jakusz said the process of finding and implementing the app began with four demonstrations from various mobile platforms. The selection was narrowed by the Department of Student Life to two options that were then presented to Student Senate.
Student Senate elected Cardinals Connect from Involvio as the final option and the process of implementing the app began over the summer with a “go live” date of Aug. 24, said Jakusz.
In begin active for less than a month, the reception of the new app appears promising. “The Cardinals Connect app to date has 701 activated users, 290 people have joined clubs [and] organizations, and in the last 14 days, there have been 1,524 group views,” said Jakusz.
Jakusz hopes the initial positive reactions of the app foreshadow potential growth. “Initial implementation has focused on the student life area,” Jakusz said. “We are hoping to continue to build [other] areas [of campus] into the app.”
Many students have expressed their excitement for new resources the app features. “Being able to communicate with others in the ride-sharing resource is really convenient,” said sophomore, Samantha Peterson. “Especially since I wouldn’t be able to get home much without it.”
Senior, Olivia Osterbauer, echoed these thoughts on the ride-sharing resource, “There are a ton of people from the Chicago or Minneapolis areas so I think this will help them a lot.”
Others such as senior, Daniel Olajonlu, and sophomore, Mara Novakovic, are looking forward to using the clubs and organizations page where students can join or view any club or organization on campus and the buy and sell page where students can sell and shop for textbooks and dorm room furniture among other things.
The Cardinals Connect app is free to download and can be found by searching “SMUMN Cardinals Connect” in the App Store.