Boxer Mobile returns

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The Undergraduate Student Senate (USS) is currently working on revising and restructuring the Boxer Mobile smart phone application. However, time is of the essence for the USS as they are already a year and a half into a three year contract with the company that sponsors the app and have already had to reschedule the apps initial re-launch date after work and progress was delayed. The USS first introduced the Boxer Mobile app last year at the 2015-2016 spring Club Fair. The app quickly faded away though, after receiving negative reviews and comments from students saying the app was too similar to the school website.  “The first launch was not very successful because we didn’t market the app,” junior Katie Lightcap, USS vice president of communications and head of the Boxer Mobile app board said. “It was pretty glitchy and uneventful so there was 
no real need for students to go use it.”  After the first launch 
of the Boxer Mobile app fell short, the USS went to work on improving and reshaping the app into a helpful tool for students.  Although the USS was initially planning tore-launch the app at thisyear’s spring s em es ter ClubFair, bad weather a nd other
obstructions pr evented lastminute tweaks to the app. This forced the USS to move the re-launch date to later in the semester.  “We did not have the second soft release for the app during Club Fair because it is not where we would like it be,” Lightcap said. “We are trying to completely reorganize and structure it so that it is aimed toward the students and has platforms that students will actually use.”  In the newer version of the Boxer Mobile app, the USS is hoping to include easily accessible links students can use to check facility hours, schedules for different sports teams and other events happenings around campus. The USS also plans to make the app something that is constantly updating. They hope to incorporate a ‘Snapchat’ like platform in the app that would help keep 
the Pacific University community connected. 
While the USS is working to ensure the new version of the app meets student needs and is student-oriented, the app’s contract is almost up. The contract, which the USS signed with the Kurogo Mobile Platform company three years ago, costs $19,000 a year and comes out of the USS budget. But with the contract nearing its end, the USS faces the question of whether or not to re-sign.  “It’s now or never,” Steve Klein, USS advisor and director of the University Center and student activities said. “Time is definitely 
a factor. We can’t wait forever because we have the contract, so we are at the point where we are putting our best team out on the floor to try and win the game. You have 
to have an exit strategy too.”  
The final decision for whether or not the USS will re-sign their contract with Kurugo will be made next February after the USS team has had time to see and analyze how the app is being used. According to Klein, other departments around campus have shown interest in the app and are willing to help support the app financially. However, 
they are waiting to see how the re-launch goes. For both Klein and Lightcap, seeing student involvement and interest around campus with the app makes it worth the investment to keep the app alive and to possibly renew the contract. The app’s re-launch date is tentatively set for sometime before spring break and the USS plans to constantly be working on updating the app even after its launch.  “I think we need a student app because it would be another avenue for students to get involved,” Lightcap said. “A place to make their voices be heard.”

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