Three contribute to Guidebook app


Natasha Bazika

Senior Jake Hofer play on his cell phone in a Willow apartment.

Rachel Logan, Features Editor

Next semester, Student Affairs officers said they hope to use the mobile application Guidebook to increase student involvement in and attendance at campus events, for a $3,500 annual fee.

Most students used Guidebook during freshman orientation to keep track of when events like ice cream socials and park clean ups took place. Guidebook allows smartphone users to scan calendars and make events for which they wish to receive notifications.

On Nov. 27, student senators approved an allocation of $1,100 to give toward buying Guidebook this year. On Thursday, Programming Board members approved $1,500 for the purchase.

Student Affairs officers are to contribute the remaining $900.

Campus Activities and Engagement Director Heather Hall said that, in upcoming years, the purchase will be incorporated into budgeting.

Hall said that her marketing intern, Shaun Ocipa, did a survey on how best students like to be notified about events. Of current ways students are notified of campus events, most people surveyed said email was best—because it can be accessed conveniently on their smartphones. Some asked for an app, and Hall agreed.

Hall said that there shouldn’t be an excuse for not knowing about campus events, and she hopes Guidebook will increase knowledge once people know to look there.

She said the app would also help to involve commuters and staff in campus events more, as well, since those groups may not be as susceptible to learning of events by word-of-mouth.

“So many things are going on on the weekend that haven’t been connected,” Hall said, listing campus ministries as organizations who might benefit the campus’s spiritual community by listing events through her.

Hall said that Pitt-Johnstown’s Guidebook representative was given the green light and is to be assembling a calendar template to fill. Once that is compete, Hall is to start populating the book with events.

She has encouraged club leaders to watch emails so that events can be added in before the semester starts.

Programming Board Vice President Angel Walters said that she looks forward to Guidebook because of the ease with which she and her crew can communicate event time changes with students.

“It’s not just good for Programming Board, but for the entire campus. Students can just open up their phone and see everything that’s happening that week.”

Walters said as well that students may be able to use Guidebook to register for events, as their Pitt IDs are to be connected.

Sophomore Alec Bibza wasn’t convinced the Guidebook app would have him going to more events. He said he has attended two basketball home games this semester because it was something to do, but he hasn’t attended much else.

He said it was possible he would attend more events if he knew free T-shirts would be available.

“I wouldn’t take time out of my day to go, but if I were free at that time (an event went on), I might consider going,” Bibza said.