Bengal Connect goes mobile

USG promotes ‘Corq’ app

Sarah Minkewicz, News Editor

SUNY Buffalo State was one of the first colleges to pilot the new Bengal Connect app, called Corq, which provides a more convenient way for students to stay connected on campus.

“Originally Bengal Connect was created as a way to keep students involved with what’s going on,” Steven Cornelio, administrative vice president for public relations, said about the website. “It’s supposed to be this interactive platform that people visit to know what’s going on with their organization and also a tool to invite students to events.”

However, it didn’t seem as though many students were utilizing this tool, and with Buffalo State paying about $13,000 a year for it, the members of United Student Government knew they had to do something in order to make paying for the website worth it.

“When I came into office I saw that our numbers for Bengal Connect were absolutely low,” Cornelio said. “At that time the only people using the site were organizations on campus for administrative purposes.”

USG President Ashleigh-Ann Sutherland was also aware of this and said because of her involvement with USG, she has to check the site regularly. But accessing the site, even for administrative reasons, wasn’t convenient.

“In order to go on the site, I’d have to go on a computer from either home or my office,” Sutherland said. “I couldn’t access it on my phone.”

Sutherland, as well as the other members of USG, wanted to fix this.

Cornelio understood that Bengal Connect offers a way for organizations to fill out their program events, keep students updated with organization elections and was a way for campus clubs to get their budgets approved.

“It’s our version of a human resource tool,” Cornelio said. He also added that the site was mainly being used to keep tabs on what organizations are up to, but that there didn’t seem to be enough student traffic to allow for a connected campus community.

The thought of the app came along around the time where web and digital was going into “finding an easier way to get the information for students,” Cornelio said. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have made spreading information faster, but Cornelio had a vision to take it one step further.

“We wanted a way to bring in that social aspect of Bengal Connect,” Cornelio said. So he brought up the idea of contacting a third party to develop a mobile app version of the site that would allow students easier access to campus events.

“This would serve as the more hands on, more social, and bring on those same initiatives from Bengal Connect on a student’s phone,” Cornelio said. “We wanted it to be social and have it be something that students would be checking all the time.”

USG sent an email to Collegiate Link, also known as Campus Labs, which is the company that designs Bengal Connect. USG asked the company if a mobile app of the website could be provided for students to use in the near future. The company responded right away and told USG that they have been working on a mobile version of the website and were just finishing up the last touches on the site.

Until the app was completed, USG conducted surveys around campus asking students if they’d want to have an app for Bengal Connect and if it would be more effective. USG collected almost 1,000 responses to the surveys and used that data to determine if they should go forward with the app process, which they have.

Collegiate Link also provides services for other colleges and universities close by, such as Pennsylvania State and Canisius College.

“When operating with them we’re not just operating with just the Bengal Connect feature but we’re operating with a company that’s handling other schools as well,” Cornelio said.

Collegiate link responded back to Cornelio and said that they are working on an app, which they later called Corq. The company said after students download the app they would select their school and area code and everything on a student’s Bengal Connect, such as events and organizations, would appear on the app, creating a more user friendly experience for a student to remain connected with their college or university.

“It’s bigger than just Bengal Connect and bigger than Buffalo State,” Cornelio said. “It’s a feature and an app that’s beneficial for many campuses and it’s a perfect way for students to stay involved.”


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