“In short, facilitating connections is the crux of the new platform,” says Simon Lindebjerg, Vice President of CBS Students.
He is the one behind the new app, which is the digital equivalent of the semester handbook RUSH and the result of a range of interviews and workshops with students focused on the challenges they experience daily at CBS.
At the moment, the app is still under construction. But when launched on September 1, it will help students navigate through the jungle of nearly 100 student organizations and unions while also making student events more easily accessible.
In other words, the app is CBS Students’ initiative for solving various practical issues that the students say they are facing.
“The app allows the student organizations and students to connect in entirely new ways. But there’s much more to it than that,” says Simon Lindebjerg about the new platform he and a crew of student volunteers are currently developing.
Creating events, booking facilities and attending student events on campus will all be much easier as the new app is divided into different sections. In the events section, all events for students can be booked and added to a calendar. The section for organizations and unions includes short presentations as well as contact information. And finally, the app enables students and organizations to interact.
Until now, presentations of all the student organizations and unions have largely been available only in the Semester Book RUSH and The Network Book, which are published once a year.
Meanwhile, student events and news from CBS have been spread across different platforms, which, according to Simon Lindebjerg, has been difficult for the students to grasp.
Therefore, making an app where everything is integrated on one platform is far more user-friendly. At the same time, CBS Students’ has opted for the app as its weapon of choice based on students’ media usage.
“We know that students usually figure out what is happening on campus over the following week, for instance, through sporadic online interaction,” Simon Lindebjerg says and continues:
“Therefore, we think the best way to comply with this media behavior is by facilitating an app that can be accessed on the students’ mobile devices, which are always at hand.”
Thus, the Student Life at CBS app embraces multiple dimensions, and CBS Students has carefully considered the media it has selected to unite them. However, the whole project began with a much simpler task.
An app with potential
Back in 2018, the board of CBS Students at the time decided to digitalize the physical semester handbook, R.U.S.H., by transforming it into an app.
Initially, this was to save paper and ease the handbook distribution process. But when a task group of student volunteers was set up to find out how to actually build and develop the app, they realized it held far greater potential.
“Instead of building a digital platform just for R.U.S.H., we stepped back and made an app that gave CBS students the most value possible in a more general sense,” says Simon Lindebjerg.
Next, the group began interviewing and inviting students to workshops to map the challenges they face in their daily lives at CBS – challenges that the app could perhaps solve.
“When talking with the students, we discovered several common issues. One was that the library’s booking system needed redesigning. Others described difficulties with receiving official news from CBS,” Simon Lindebjerg explains and goes on:
“However, the one outstanding common factor was that the students had problems maneuvering among and connecting with the many student organizations. And since CBS Students has a central position for both the student organizations and students, we thought that designing an app could be a unique opportunity to solve this problem.”
A collaborative platform
Although there are still some pages to turn in the calendar before the app is launched on September 1, the process of building it is running smoothly, according to the Vice President of CBS Students.
“We have come so far in the process now that we’ve begun considering how to expand the project beyond our CBS campus in the future. For instance, some student organizations could benefit from connecting with organizations from other universities,” Simon Lindebjerg says and continues:
“This doesn’t happen much at the moment, but with the app, we might be able to facilitate such connections and networking more.”
By and large, when launched, the app should not be viewed as a finished platform. Rather, if you ask Simon Lindebjerg, it should be seen as a collaborative platform with continuous room for improvements and new content ideas that can create additional value for the students.
“If new ideas for the app are brought to us, we will discuss them with our development team, stakeholders and users to establish the best way for everyone to implement those ideas,” he says.
Right now, CBS Students is alpha testing the app, which entails some administrators from a few student organizations trying it out. At the same time, they are working on getting more organizations on board.
And when Student Life at CBS is finally released for download on all mobile devices at the beginning of the fall, Simon Lindebjerg hopes that all the student organizations’ activities will be available on the platform and all students will download the app.