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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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St. Joe’s mobile app goes live

Saint Joseph’s University has officially gone mobile, unveiling a new app for students, faculty and staff to download.

SJU Mobile, which was facilitated by the Office of Information Technology as well as Student Senate, centralizes many features of existing St. Joe’s sites and apps: a course schedule, shuttle tracker, What’s Open When, person directory, calendar of events, emergency notifications and more. The app officially launched on April 19, but according to Francis DiSanti, chief information officer, its development began in the fall of 2015.

“It was not only time, but we had the right vendor partner and student interest, so that convergence really made it the right time to do it,” DiSanti said.

Conor Isbitski, ’17, the IT chair for Student Senate, has been heavily involved in the development of the app.

“I helped to facilitate the movement of the project,” Isbitski said. “Hopefully one day students will use it for regular, simple functions. If you give the students power like that, it creates a more welcoming university.”

Conor Isbitski, ’17, the IT chair for Student Senate reps the new St. Joe’s app (Photo by Luke Malanga ’20).

Amanda Sciarra, director of application services, agreed.

“We wanted an app that would easily connect students to the services that they use most readily so that it’s literally in the palm of your hand when you need it,” Sciarra said.

Modo Labs, an outside company that specializes in creating campus apps, was chosen for this project of bringing the SJU Mobile app to life.

A committee that included IT and Application Services staff as well as Student Senators selected Modo Lab in the fall of 2016. After the decision was made, SJU Mobile was underway. The initial project expenses were funded through the Technology Advancement Fund in the Office of Information Technology’s budget.

“Once we got legs under this initiative, then I went to the university for the recurring funding,” DiSanti said. “But because [the bid process] was competitive, it ensured that our vendors were giving us their best quote on not only what they could provide, but how costly it might be.”

In February 2017, SJU Mobile was tested by student senators, who provided in-app feedback on their experience. The feedback feature is still active in the app for students to use, according to Sciarra.

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