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Student apps at BC garner attention

Andrew Hudson   ||   Jan 26, 2017  ||   ,

A new, student-developed mobile app on the campus of Boston College is pooling menu and nutritional information for campus dining facilities, and it's growing in popularity among students for its user-friendly utility.

Now an editorial in student publication, The Heights, is calling for the EagleEats app to be acknowledged and endorsed by BC Dining Services. The app gleans much of its dining information from the university's official dining services website, and per the report the app developers also advertised EagleEats with posters that featured BC Dining Service’s logo -- without dining services' prior approval.

EagleEats enables Boston College students to view menus and nutritional information for food being served at campus dining halls. The app was created and published by two BC students and is available for free download for the general public. The students' app leverages the already accessible dining information posted to the BC Dining Service’s website, only the app organizes and presents the info in a more user-friendly and efficient manner. The app has thus far been downloaded over 700 times from the Apple App Store.

In addition to the aesthetic benefits of the app, other features include a button that enables the user to view the current menu of the nearest dining hall to the user based on campus location and time of day. Users can also create a list of favorite menu items and be sent notifications when those foods are being served. Users can also click on a specific menu item to view that food's schedule including both when and where it will be served next. The app also enables users to view standard nutrition information for each item on the menu.

As noted by The Heights, the student devs did not consult with university officials prior to launching the app. It's a situation that has occurred at the university before.

Another student-developed app, EagleScribe, which enables students to search course listings and receive notifications when spots in full classes become available, similarly came to fruition without the consult of the university. EagleScribe also draws information from existing campus resources, and has been a hit with the campus community with the app's developers reporting more than 4,500 registered users.

Despite not working with university officials prior to their public releases, The Heights suggests that both EagleEats and EagleScribe show the potential for students to contribute to campus life and operations. The editorial closes by imploring university officials to work with student devs who recognize inefficiencies in campus resources and have ideas for ways to refine how important information is relayed to students.

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