CSB/SJU launch Bulletin App

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July 29, 2020

When students had to leave campus last semester and finish their classes online as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it made finding effective methods of communication more important than ever.

That’s why the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University expedited the development of a new app originally planned to launch during the fall 2020 semester.

Simply titled “Bulletin,” the app allows students, their families, faculty, staff and other interested parties to stay up-to-date on what’s happening on the two campuses – exploring CSB/SJU news, events and updates anytime on their mobile devices.

The app, which is available to anyone to download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, serves the same function as the community Daily Bulletin (formerly Bulletin Board) that already exists on the CSB/SJU website. Announcements submitted there will now go to both the app and the Daily Bulletin.

In addition to streamlining campus news and event information, the app provides more opportunities for individuals to personalize what they see. The main feed can be customized by audience and posts can be removed or saved with simple left-right swipe functionality. Additional features include easy access to the LINK schedule and the ability to share posts via text, email, social media and more.

“We already have the Daily Bulletin, but now we have the chance to change and enhance it,” said Casey Gordon, the chief information officer at CSB/SJU. “We wanted to create something that had more of a visual presence to it and provide an option that was more user-friendly.

“To me, the biggest thing is having the ability to clear posts. The thing I hear most from our community is that they never really know what’s new. This provides an easy way to keep their list up-to-date.”

And, perhaps most critically, Gordon is excited about cutting down on campus mass emails, keeping students’ inboxes less cluttered to ensure they don’t miss important communications from their professors and others.

“I’ve been here five years now, and every year we’ve received complaints from students about the sheer amount of emails in their inboxes,” she said. “They don’t see an email from a faculty member because of all the stuff they have coming at them.

“And, on the other hand, we hear from the people who are sending these emails asking how else they can reach students? So this is hopefully a solution that will help with both of those things.”

Gordon also said the app is a way to help parents stay more engaged as well.

“It’s possible they may see things a student might have missed,” she said. “So they could say ‘Hey, it looks like there’s a scholarship day coming up next week. You should check that out.’

“Anything that increases communication and makes it more effective helps.”