New Mercer app for students

As of Monday, the Mercer University Board of Appropriations approved the funding for a new Mercer smartphone application. The first stirrings of this idea came approximately one year ago, and the idea is finally becoming a reality.

The app, called Campus Access, by Dub Labs, will include many things that the current Mercer app does not. “This app will have tabs for alumni, prospects and current students. Current students will see certain things whereas alumni will see where alumni events are, and you can have news feeds on there,” said SGA vice president Melina Hettiaratchi.

She also said that the app will be able to link to Mercer Twitter and Facebook pages, which Hettiarachi said is a big deal for the university, because a lot of people currently don’t use those pages. The app will also have access to Blackboard, the Mercer directory and a page that has cafeteria hours and menus, as well as possibly integrate with Mercer Village. “Anything that is already an app can be put in, anything that is already online can be fed in directly,” said Hettiaratchi.

“Everything will be actionable links,” said Hettiaratchi. “So you can click on a link and it will open up in google maps and show you the fastest and easiest ways to get around campus. It’s a lot more capability and versatility than we had before.”

The app will be kept up by a company known as Dub Labs, a company that is based in Washington, D.C. “It’s their job to maintain the app, so really any changes that need to be made will go through them and they’ll be prompt to fix them or add things. It will always be pertinent information, always kept up to date,” said SGA senator Sarah Webster, who heads the Contract Services committee.

“It will be free for students, which is a big deal because students have to pay for Blackboard,” said Hettiaratchi. “There’s so many things this app could do.”

Now that the funding has finally been approved, Webster says it will be only six weeks before the app is released for student use. The app comes with a two-year contract, which Webster says will give SGA time to gauge student interest, as well as what needs changing or fixing. Like owning a page on Facebook, the app will come with a data analytics feature, in order to track what pages students are using the most.

“We’re really excited about it,” said Webster.