App developers aim to help first-year students socialize 

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EduardoCastillo

James Meli (left) and Zeeshan Khan check the Alonzie application for events. Meli is an undergraduate student majoring in computer engineering. Khan is a graduate student in the Master’s of innovation and design program.

A team of graduate and undergraduate students have developed a mobile application they hope will help students socialize at Wichita State.

The app, called Alonzie, first launched in August.

“We want to give students one centralized place to have access to events, because that’s something that we didn’t have coming in as first-year students,” said Zeeshan Khan, one of the students on the development team.

The free app’s main function is to allow users to create, view, and share events within a 30-mile radius. Users are also able to make events public or private, view who attends the event, live-stream, and book rides from Uber.

COURTESY/ALONZIE
This screenshot displays the home page of the Alonzie mobile application, which was designed by a team of WSU students. The app is open to everyone on iOS.

Other students who helped develop the app are James Meli, Billy Meli, and Emmanuel Daramola. James Meli first had a vision for the app in 2016.

“I would often see people posting flyers around campus, advertising on Snapchat, Instagram, and taking screenshots and reposting on their social media,” he said. “I knew there had to be an easier way to do all this and make it streamlined.”

The application is open for anyone to use. But it is ultimately geared towards registered student organizations (RSOs), fraternities, sororities and other student groups.

While groups use social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to promote events, posts can get lost among the noise on users’ feeds. Alonzie’s developers say they hope to make it easier for users to be connected to activities and events in the community without having to follow multiple pages across various outlets.

The application has gained about 300 registered users since its launch. It is current only available for devices on iOS, which developers say was for cost efficiency.

“We wanted to perfect the application on one platform in case we ran into any glitches and bugs that we may run into, as well as receive user feedback,” James Meli said. “We wanted to go above the threshold of the goal that we set.”

The team says they hope to launch an android version of the app by the end of the year.

Alonzie developers are also currently mapping out how they can pitch their application to investors in order to get them on board.