From memes to the adventures of a lost jar of pickles, the new Student Feed section of the University of Portland mobile app became the host for all kinds of posts and conversations in the days since its release on Feb. 4. The Associated Students of University of Portland (ASUP) asked the developers to activate this part of the app nicknamed the “Campus Wall.”
“Basically, (the) idea behind this was I noticed that students are in these closed Facebook groups,” ASUP Director of Communications Ryan Thoms said. “We have a housing page, we have a memes page, we have a spot on there where people do their lost and found. So, why not condense it into one platform that is much more accessible to UP students.”
The app is divided into multiple categories including buy and sell, lost and found, housing, news and ride-sharing. The app will not be accessible to faculty, staff or administrators, and will remain student-run, according to Thoms.
“We did a test run, and there were already a couple of memes,” sophomore class senator, Kila Ung, said. “But I started to see people asking for help on homework or somebody else posted something about housing. I started to see a little more of that. I think the first day people were just (asking), ‘What do we do here?’”
Before the app officially launched, ASUP tested it with a select group. After running it for some time, ASUP provided feedback to the developers to fix any bugs or issues with the app. During the trial run, the chat slowly transitioned from a meme page into a functional feed, according to Ung.
Students can also report something that is posted, and if it is reported more than once, it is taken down for review and removed if necessary according to Ung. According to Thoms, reported content will be reviewed by members of ASUP’s Communication Committee and Thoms himself.
The Campus Wall was intended to be whatever students make of it, and it is encouraged that students use it in a way that benefits them, ASUP President Nick Owen said.
“I’m not going to say the use that it was designed for,” Owen said. “It’s designed to fit the student body and be reflective of what students want. I knew that it was going to fall into its role organically, how students decide to use it, and that’s going to evolve over time too. It will really be up to them to figure out what works best to improve their student life.”
On the first day the service launched, it was full of memes, UP Centered jokes, and someone trying to sell used Pilot House to-go boxes. The app has slowly shown students posting about housing and events, and asking questions to the UP community.
“In all seriousness, as stupid as the meme stuff can get, I think it adds a lot of value to campus culture if we just have a place where we can talk to each other and share in humor,” Thoms said.
Austin De Dios is a reporter for The Beacon. He can be reached at email@example.com.