Campus organizations go mobile

The Youngstown State University Student Government Association and Rookery Radio are developing separate mobile apps to help students stay connected to campus this semester.

SGA recently partnered with OOHLALA Mobile to customize an app that allows student organizations to communicate more easily. Any student or student organization can download OOHLALA for free on an iPhone or Android.

Cory Okular, SGA president, said when OOHLALA expressed its desire to expand its product into the U.S., he was anxious to get involved.

Okular described the app as a social networking device that localizes itself for the needs of a specific organization. He said he uses the app to keep up with what’s happening on campus.

“The reason we got into it is because if [SGA] or any other student organization has an event, it can immediately be posted on OOHLALA, and everybody will be able to see that and organize it into their schedule,” Okular said.

Okular said 25 student groups at YSU are registered with OOHLALA. He said he hopes to expand on the app by taking part in a global Halloween costume contest where individuals post a picture of their costume. Whoever receives the most “likes” will win a trip to the Caribbean.

“The costume contest is a good way to get more groups and individuals to participate in the application,” Okular said.

YSU was one of the first universities in the U.S. to partner with OOHLALA. Kent State University was also part of the group of schools that initially partnered with OOHLALA in May.

Rookery Radio is developing another app that aims to connect with students.

Though Rookery Radio is available on mobile phones through SHOUTcast Radio, a mobile radio app developed by AOL, the new app will allow listeners to access the station from its own platform.

Nancy Barker, program director for Rookery Radio, said once the station changes to SAM Broadcaster, a Special Communications product used by ESPN and CBS Radio, Rookery Radio will no longer be available through SHOUTcast.

Adam Earnheardt, adviser for Rookery Radio, said he hopes the software change will make the app available by November.

“The version we have has its limitations with what we can program,” Earnheardt said. “The new system is more robust and has more features. SAM Broadcaster is industry standard software.”

The new system includes an automated player on the Rookery Radio website, which means that the listener will not have to leave the website to listen to the station — something that has caused problems in the past.

“This new system will be tailored specifically for us,” Earnheardt said.