A Campus App Helps Newcomers Feel Welcome

The Rokwire open source platform was created to be a “catalyst for profound change,” according to William Sullivan—director of the Smart, Healthy Communities Initiative—at the 2023 conference of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities. Because its flexibility allows for integration of smart technologies, different data types, and multiple vendors, an app built on the system can be individualized for any campus and be “student centric” to “enhance engagement, wellness, and academic achievement.”

The Rokwire platform allows for integration of various smart technologies, data types, and vendors.

Sullivan noted that the power of an app is that it lives in students’ “native habitat—the smart phone.” A newcomer to a campus—from an international graduate student to a first-year undergraduate—does not have to face “that gnawing sense of being lost in a sea of unfamiliarity.” Help and support are a tap away.

Sullivan imagined how the experiences of someone like Aaliyah—a first-generation university student excited but uncertain if she will make friends, keep up with classwork, or find her way through unfamiliar territory—could be radically altered by a personalized app.

“When the anxiety of not knowing where her next class was gnawed at her, she could open the app and effortlessly navigate the campus map.”

Whenever she had a question about a policy or wondered what health services were available, she had a “virtual guide right there on her screen.”

When she felt alone, she could open a groups feature to “connect with like-minded peers.” Aaliyah—and any student on any campus—would be “armed with the information she needs, precisely when she needs it,” Sullivan affirmed.

Integrated maps and a groups feature aid students and build community.

The Rokwire campus app is envisioned as more than just a useful app. It is a “transformative tool” that can “empower students and enrich their university experiences.” It can “lead the way toward a brighter future for higher education,” Sullivan concluded.

Categories: Campus App, Smart Tech Futures