Have you ever wondered what time the KSC basketball game started? Or what building the art festival is in? Since its launch in 2015, Hootie’s Rewards at Keene State College has been helping students get more involved with campus life.
“This app is the only thing like this on campus,” Megan Marcotte, a first-year student, said. “I wouldn’t really know that most of these events were going on if it wasn’t for the app; it definitely helps students be more aware of what’s going on here at campus.” Marcotte said she likes the app because of how many different types of events are posted, not just athletics.
KSC’s Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information Compliance and Operations Abe Osheyack, is one of the primary administrators for the app. Osheyack said at first, Hootie’s Rewards was titled Code Red. “We have had some versions of the app on campus for two-and-a-half years, and in the summer of 2017, we branded the app to call it Hootie’s Rewards.”
Osheyack wanted to make the name sound more campus-friendly. “We kept getting feedback saying Code Red sounds more like a life-alert type of health scare, so we went along with changing the name to gain more recognition.”
He also said he wants to see the app expand more into a campus-wide app. Osheyack said he wanted to open up the app to more events than just athletics to get more students involved. “We’ve done Paws to Play, study nights, all sorts of things where students can go be a part of campus life and be rewarded for it.
Osheyack said he didn’t expect the app to become a massive calendar for college events. Over the few years, he said he hopes to see an increase in the apps user base.
The Coordinator of Wellness Education at KSC Tiffany Mathews is one of the main contributors to the changes made to the app. She approached Osheyack in the spring of 2017 and asked if she could help rethink and redevelop the app. Matthews decided one of the things to change first was the name of the app, which eventually led to the new name Hootie’s Rewards.
“I wanted to try and find a way to encourage students to attend on-campus events.” Mathews said she wanted to find a way to get more students involved with the app, so she came up with the idea of adding student wellness-based events like academic fairs and student fairs to the app.
Students can go to events, check in, get points and redeem them for swag, from art kits, head massagers, to phone holders, along with sports prizes.
She formed a group called the Campus Wellness Partners, who are people from different organizations and departments that send Mathews event info. She is always asking people to send her events. She also searches the internet and asks the people hosting if she can promote them on the app.
Mathews said she wanted to make it easier for students to find all the wellness events and athletics events in one place.
She also said that the app helps the RAs on campus with figuring out where the on-campus events are for their programming requirement.
Mathews said, “There really isn’t any other place where you can see where all the events are.” She said there are already over 3,000 students who have attended Live Well KSC tagged events, and this year more students have downloaded the app than in other years.
Mathews said this is something that all of us on campus can collaborate on. “The whole thing about Live Well KSC and the app itself is to help connect the students with the resources we have right here on campus, which will hopefully help them become successful in life.”
Matt Kahlman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org