Henry Hobson / Equinox Staff

Angelique Inchierca
Photo Editor

Keene State College begins the year fresh with their newly improved rewards app, Hooties Rewards.
Formerly known as Code Red, Hooties Rewards was introduced last fall and revamped for the 2018-2019 school year.
Hooties Rewards is a free Apple and Android compatible app that uses the user’s location to check-in to events around campus for points that can later be redeemed for prizes.
KSC Coordinator of Wellness Education and project lead Tiffany Mathews said the app may have been started by the Athletics Program here on campus but now has expanded past both athletics and the Center of Health and Wellness events.
“I had just launched Live Well KSC… [I] knew there wasn’t a place on campus that best promoted all the events that were happening,” Mathews said. She added, “Through Live Well KSC [I proposed we] endorsed events that support student well-being and in doing that we change the name from Code Red… it’s a location-based rewards app that shows students the events that are happening on campus that support student well-being. That includes athletic events as well as events that are submitted to us from a variety of student organizations like the Eco-Reps, S.A.C. and other clubs.” Mathews said there are so many services on campus that no one realizes are helping to meet the KSC nine dimensions of wellness.
KSC Sophomore Elementary Education and Elementary Math dual major Ashley Chopelas has been using the rewards app since her August Orientation of last year. She said, “I think it’s a great way to know what’s going on on campus and it has an incentive which is what people need in order to go to events.”
KSC Senior Secondary Education and History dual major and Resident Assistant Tyler Chaisson said he has been using the app since its launch, “[the app creators] would ask us to go to events and try to get our residents there… but me and my friend Sierra would walk around all the time and see events on campus or we’d check [the app] and see because you get stuff from it too.”
Over the course of the academic school year, the app keeps real-time score of a user’s points that can be used to redeem prizes at any point. There is a large range of prizes from smaller prizes like Starbucks gift cards, Keene Cinema movie tickets and board games, to outdoor activity tools like frisbees and jump ropes, to more expensive items such as FitBits. While the Center of Health and Wellness has prizes, other outside organizations have donated prizes for students (Ie. Starbucks).
Chopelas said, “[Hooties Rewards] is pretty cool. I like going and trying to get as many points as I can, then seeing all of the prizes you can get… and actually getting the prizes at games and events.”
Mathews said, “We have certain contests that we’ll put up throughout the year, one of them right now is the First-Year Wellness Challenge.” First-year students who accrue 500 points in this month of August and September will be entered in a prize drawing in which the winner will be getting a catering party for them and 19 of their friends. She added, “We try to be creative [with the app].”
Mathews said, “[Aside from contests] we have all different levels for the points in regards to the prizes so if it’s something smaller scale on the prizes such as coloring books or if you really want to save up so you can get the FitBit, you can do that.”
She added students who are waiting for their points to accumulate need to know that their account will reset at the beginning of each academic school year.
From the relaunch, students can see many new changes since the prior year. Mathews said features such as the home feed, which is a new layout design, are new to the app. Features such as the Fancam have been modernized with the new update.
Chaisson said one feature he likes is the app’s Leaders’ Board, as he was in the top ten last school year and said he found the competition between his friends fun. He added, “If you do have that competitive nature you can try to go to more events, which gets you more involved but it also lets you see how involved other people are on campus.”
Hooties Rewards currently has 4,318 users according to Mathews. Along with that, the Hooties Rewards app has had a total of 6,334 check-ins (not including athletic events) during its first year of use.
Mathews said Hooties Rewards will be updated throughout the year by SuperFanU who codes the app. Along with that, each time a student redeems a prize, they are asked to submit a survey about the app as it is still considered to be a semi-pilot. Mathews said she has hopes in the app progressing as surveys are given and feedback is received.

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