The Office of the Dean of Students seeks to better serve students
This semester, Victoria College has launched a “Vic” app, with the goal of enhancing the connectivity that students experience with the resources and information around the Victoria College community.
The app looks to build upon the current clubs information through crowd-sourcing. Any student can submit an event affiliated with Victoria College and open to all Vic students to the page through the website: http://www.vic.utoronto.ca/students/campuslife/Add_Events_to_the_Victoria_College_App.htm
Scott Johnston, Assistant Dean of Student Life says the app’s “underlying goal is to better serve students.”
The Office of the Dean of Students, in conjunction with VUSAC, ran a series of focus groups in January and February of 2017. They reached out via e-mail to over 1,500 students, expressing a desire to “[hear] about your student experience with the hopes of improving the services and resources we offer.” These focus groups led to the inception of the app.
Johnston says, “At these focus groups, it was mentioned that students wanted to connect to resources through their phones and thus were interested in some form of event system that was better able to serve this.”
Over the summer, the Dean’s office began looking into developers that have worked on similar projects. “We worked with the Victoria IT department to vet these companies to ensure feasibility,” says Johnston.
VUSAC was consulted during the process to ensure that the app is something that students would want to use, upon completion. The Orientation Executive also expressed interest in the project.
Ali Kehl, member of the Orientation Exec, says that they “hoped it would help with the transition into university by being an easy resource for first years to use in order to stay in touch with the Vic community.” Kehl says that the introduction of the app during frosh week “provide[d] a service that [made] staying involved after orientation week as manageable as possible.”
Victoria College is also continuing to improve their sustainable practices. As Johnston points out, “The creation of an app allowed the Dean’s Office to reduce our carbon footprint and better access students,” Johnston points out.
At the VUSAC Fall Elections Town Hall on September 28th, an issue that many candidates brought up was the excessive amount of postering that happens around campus leading up to events. They seemed optimistic that the app could be used to increase community engagement.
The “Vic” app can be downloaded from the Apple and Android app stores, and any suggestions or corrections can be submitted through: http://www.vic.utoronto.ca/students/campuslife/Victoria_College_App_Feedback.htm
Photo | Molly Kay