By Miguel Gonzalez
Introduced during Welcome Week, the College’s newest mobile app, Roar*, provides students a faster way to communicate, learn about campus organizations and stay up to date on the latest events across campus.
Roar*, operated by Involvio, LLC, is available for both Android and iOS devices and allows students to create a profile and connect their social media accounts to the app.
After students go through the app’s setup and identity verification processes, Roar*’s simple user interface becomes accessible. Starting at the dashboard page, students can open up an agenda feature, which is a calendar that displays current and upcoming events on campus. Events can range from ongoing periods such as add/drop week, to scheduled fall sports matches and club events. Students can also schedule reminders for events they are attending.
Apart from the calendar, students can post on Roar*’s student message board. On the student feed, students can chat, reply to and like comments. Students can discuss a wide range of topics such as courses, WiFi issues, organizations and more. Students can also text each other privately through the app’s direct message feature.
Conor Collins, a sophomore biomedical engineering major and an orientation leader during Welcome Week, found Roar* to be an instrumental tool for freshmen.
“Roar* was a very friendly app for freshmen,” Collins said. “It gave many opportunities for them to attend different events, yet also providing a student feed for easy communication.”
Barry Beal, the assistant director of athletics for communications and game operations, sees Roar* as an opportunity for students to engage with the College’s NCAA Division III teams and attend matches.
“Certainly the hope is that more students will attend sporting events strictly based on the fact that more students will be aware of them,” Beal said. “TCNJ is a very engaged community and the new app will only serve to further connect the members of this community. Having this as another avenue to promote our athletics events is something that we welcome.”
The app’s campus page gives students access to a map of the College, information on student organizations and campus services such as the Career Center. During Welcome Week, freshmen often used the campus map to navigate the school.
“(Roar*) helped me guide through events during Welcome Week,” said freshman applied mathematics major Matthew Delaney. “The map was very useful for finding buildings around TCNJ. It also keeps track of what’s going on. I’ll definitely use this all the time.”
On the app’s top menu bar, students can search within the app. The search bar has received mixed responses due to its lack of functionality. Some searches will not yield any results unless they are searched for under a specific category.
This proved to be inconvenient for some students, like freshman accounting major Evan Verbaska, who was trying to search for the ultimate frisbee club. Verbaska’s search for “ultimate frisbee” camp up empty since it was not searched for under the “groups” category in the search bar.
“I was trying to find the Ultimate Frisbee club, but it wasn’t easy on (Roar*),” Verbraska said. “Besides that, “(Roar*) was easy to navigate and very user friendly.”
One of Roar*’s prominent features is its ability to scan Quick Response (QR) codes for check-ins for ticketed events such as concerts and fairs. So far, the feature has allowed student organizations manage traffic during campus events.
Max Falvey, a senior communication studies major and director of the College Union Board, is hopeful that Roar* will further connect the campus community.
“Roar* will help us for promoting CUB events,” Falvey said. “(The Office for) Student Involvement has been transparent throughout the process. They are always monitoring and critiquing the app daily, which is cool. We’re excited to see how Roar* affects clubs and brings students together.”