can be one of the best times of a student’s life, but it is also one of immense
stress. Between classes, homework, part-time jobs and other commitments,
students are encouraged to be involved with campus organizations—a time to relax
and connect with their peers. However, keeping up with so many groups and
events can be a challenge all its own.
Myers, a McNeese State University business senior, has been president of Student
Life Coalition, Greek Unity Board and Kappa Alpha fraternity. In each of these
roles, he has received feedback from multiple students who have all missed a
campus event because they did not know about it. Myers wanted to change this
and started looking for a new and improved way of communicating with students.
really wanted to find a way to promote campus events outside of using Facebook,”
says Myers. "I saw that our campus had a need that goes beyond what we can do
with social media.”
began searching for available programs that would offer one common space for
all campus organizations to share their events with students. After multiple
attempts, he came up with OrgSync, but the platform still limited the reach
ability that Myers was looking for.
wanted to bring something innovative to McNeese, and finally at around three
o’clock one morning, I came up with an idea,” says Myers.
vision became Involve U - a smart phone app that acts as a social media site
specifically for campus events of student organizations at a single college
campus. He contacted his friend and fraternity brother, Garrett Benoit, a recent
McNeese computer science graduate, to help his idea come to life.
and Benoit added mutual friends, computer science seniors, Chris Darbonne and
Taylor Venissat, to help develop the business and software for the app. As a
team, they entered the fourth annual SEED Center Business Pitch Competition at
McNeese and took home first place for their idea in the college/university
category. As first place winners, they won $2,500 to help start their business.
is the Involve U app different from Facebook? Facebook advertisements are not
always in a user’s location, but Involve U offers events and advertisements in
a specific geographic area, says Benoit.
hopes that this platform will be beneficial to all student groups, but
especially those lesser known with smaller budgets. "For those student
organizations that do not have funds for advertising, Involve U fills in the
gap between the group, its members and the rest of campus,” says Benoit.
U currently has over 30 organizations and six businesses using the app. The
team is working on a business portal website and looking at ways app users can
stay up to date and share events and promotions with their friends.
Involve U continues to grow, Benoit, as one of the main app developers, wants
to maintain an open line of communication with the student body.
always looking for feedback, whether it’s negative or positive. We want to know
what students think,” Benoit says. "Involve U wants to stay connected with
students so they feel comfortable telling us what features they want and don’t
want on the app.”
users are encouraged to reach out to Involve U with their feedback by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.