BC app intends to help students

Mason J. Rockfellow, Editor in Chief

There’s a new way to keep up to date with Bakersfield College news, athletics, events, and more, right from the palm of your hand.
With websites not always being the easiest to navigate, a lot of apps have been created for faster navigation, special features, and the ability to connect with others through the power of your mobile device.
“Even though our website is very mobile friendly, it still does not have the power or the uniqueness of a mobile app,” said Nicky Damania Director of Student Life.
BCSGA and Nicky Damania have recently made the app, BCRenegades, which has been funded by Student Success and Support Program along with BCSGA, with some of the money coming from the funds from the purchases of the student discount KVC sticker. The app is available on IOS and Android through their app stores. For Windows phone users there is also web version of the app that can be accessed in a browser at tinyurl.com/bcrenegadesguide.
There are a variety of features that the app offers, from instant messaging between classmates and friends, to a place for jotting down personal notes so you don’t forget what it was you had to do at 2:30 p.m.
There’s a calendar where you can add events on campus and have a reminder set so that you don’t forget that event, speaker, or sporting event that you really want to go to and once you get there you can even check into the events. There is also a place called the Renegade Album where you can post pictures of what you are doing on campus.
The app has access to Inside BC, the directory, the BC’s President’s blog, weather, student, world, and national news from CNN, and even the Bakersfield Californian feed to help students be more aware of what is going on in the world around them.
The app can be used without signing in, but if you wanted to, you could sign in using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, your BC email, and Google Plus. When you sign in using your social media, you can connect with others close by on campus through the app, which will show if that person is around you. But all that shows up is their name and no personal information is exchanged.
Another aspect that the app holds is it could help incoming high school students and new students in general to BC. It will inform them on registration, and when and where orientation and assessment sessions take place.
The developers are also working on the campus map, so when you click on an event, you can then click the location where it will be held and it will pinpoint it on the map for you, making getting around campus easier.
The app also provides access to important forms to fill out such as the Renegade Pantry and Financial Aid, and Office of Student Life forms etc.
Damania and BCSGA are still communicating and working with other BC departments to see how they can be implemented into the app. Access to these things can be found on BC’s website as well, but on the app it is considerably faster to get to.
“Take for instance our pantry forms,” Damania said. “It takes seven clicks from the home page to get to the pantry form…in the mobile app, it’s three clicks,” said Damania. “It’s not to replace the website whatsoever. It’s just to give students an opportunity to have information in direct format.”
The app has been in alpha testing and in the app stores since midnight on Jan. 13, allowing those who knew about the app to try it out and give feedback. The app will have made its campus debut through the school’s email system to all students on Feb. 1 to let all BC students know that it is available.
Even with the mass announcement of the app on Feb. 1, Damania said it is still going to have some kinks that need to be worked out, and students and users of the app are encouraged to give their feedback.
There will be spot on the main home page that will have a place to do so.
“It is still in testing modes, it is a beta version, so the more feedback I receive the better the app can be,” said Damania. “We want to make sure that it is what the students want.”