If you haven’t already gone to your app store to download the app, you should. OOHLALA Mobile Inc., the company behind many other Canadian university mobile apps, has provided VIU with a platform for their students since 2013.

New app
New app

It wasn’t until this year that the app was rebranded, and now includes the VIUSU symbol on the app itself. After a quick search of “Vancouver Island University Students’ Union” on your smartphone, you’ll soon have “student life at your fingertips.”

“There’s a social aspect to it,” said Michael Olson, Executive Director of the VIUSU.

The new main screen is bright, colourful and easy to navigate. It offers eight colour-coded options from campus clubs and services to events and deals. Students can use the “Student Feed” to chat with other users, liking and commenting comparable to other social media platforms. The idea is to have all a student needs in one place, rather than scrolling through and searching Google for answers.

Main page of VIUSU app
Main page of VIUSU app

This year, the VIUSU is working to provide categories where students can find Writing Centre services through the app, and connect with the career centre on job opportunities.

Last semester, the Students’ Union worked with campus groups, showing them how they can customize their page on the app to include contact info and events specifically hosted by that group.

“They can encourage their members to use it,” Olson said, anticipating that this time around, more users will find the app and keep it on their phones.

Beginning today, VIUSU is hosting a Treasure Hunt. Like last year, users who have the app can participate using the interactive map.

Olson said there is a virtual border from Fifth to Wakesiah, it includes residences up to the parkway. The virtual treasure is hidden somewhere on campus grounds, and Olson explains, “If you are close enough to the treasure you are prompted to pick it up. If you get close enough to other players you can steal it from them.”

The treasure map as of 9:30 am Tuesday
The treasure map as of 9:30 am Tuesday

There will be two winners, the student who holds onto the treasure the longest throughout the three days, wins $200 towards the VIU bookstore. The student with the treasure at the end of Thursday wins the same prize.

Check out the app at your app store, it’s free! iTunes or Google Play

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