Phone apps created for campus by the campus

Aubrey Lathrop

In an effort to connect the student body, various groups on Augustana’s campus have created apps available for download. The goal of these apps is to keep students informed and safe. There are three main apps available for students on campus: Vike Life, Augie Catholic and ACES.

Vike Life, the newest of these apps, made its debut during Welcome Week this year and was primarily developed by junior Michael Wardach.

“Last spring, the computer science majors, for their senior inquiry, started developing this app for the OSL (Office of Student Life),” Wardach said, “Over the summer, I finished development on it and got it to a working state to be launched.

This app allows student groups to create events, publicize themselves and publicize things they are doing more easily, Wardach explained.

Vike Life may also affect the amount of emails a student receives in the future since it will be easier to track events on campus.

“Rather than trying to give out information about events through email, there’s just one app where you can go through and find all the events you’re interested in by searching for them,” Wardach said.

Another app on campus, Augie Catholic, was created by Father Jeremy Freehill with the Parish Solutions app company.

“[The app] provides resources including daily prayers, recorded sermons, our weekly schedule, a calendar of events, apologetics, links to deepen one’s understanding of the truths of our Catholic Faith and much more,”  Freehill said.

Freehill explained he created the app with a company called Parish Solutions. The company sent him a template that he filled out.

“I have found over the years that many people do not know a Catholic student ministry is present on campus,” Freehill said. “I wanted the app then to be a way to connect with students and better communicate with the Catholic community.”

The last app on campus is for the Augustana College Express Service (ACES), whose success opened the way for these other apps to come in despite some difficulties.

Junior Caleb Gruden is the current director of the app. “The app initially was started for an SI project at the end of my freshman year,” Gruden said, reflecting on the creation of the app. “I had just became a director and basically it was sitting down with those students and talking about what the service, the goals of the service was and how best we could format an app in order to best meet those goals and still make it more user-friendly.”

ACES recently experienced difficulties with displaying arrival times of the vehicles.

“We just had our app developer go in and fix it. There’s been a few different bugs throughout the year that we’ve been managing with, and they kind of just happen at pretty unexpected times. …we have to talk to him and usually it’s fixed by the next day,” Gruden said.

Vike life informs students of upcoming events, Augie Catholic guides those of Catholic faith and ACES aims to keep the campus safe.

Each app may hold a different purpose but they have one thing in common: they were created for the campus by campus.