Reaching out to the undergraduate student body as well as encouraging active exchange of ideas regarding how the student council should be run are some of the biggest concerns for the KAIST Undergraduate Student Council. To solve this issue, the student council collaborated with KAIST’s computer programming club System Programmers’ Association for Researching Computer Systems (SPARCS) to create a mobile application (commonly called “app” for short) that would help them promote such communication. On November 19, the council announced on the KAIST Portal System, their Facebook page, and ARA (the university’s online forum), that the official KAIST Undergraduate Student Council app is soon to be released, and further held a contest to collect name ideas for this new app. The KAIST Herald met with Sung Wook Jung, the director of the app development, to learn about the details.
Could you briefly introduce yourself?
Hello. My name is Sung Wook Jung of the entering class of 2011. I am working as the public relations officer of the KAIST’s 27th Undergraduate Student Council One Step.
What was the purpose or motivation for creating this app?
There are not enough means by which we can communicate with the general student body. Through this app, we hoped to facilitate the delivering of information such as school announcements, events, and schedules as well as to receive students’ suggestions and feedback on school life, academics, the student government, et cetera.
What are the main functions of this app?
This app has various functions. The app will give push notifications when a new announcement is posted on the KAIST Portal System so that it may alert students on the dates of school, sports, and cultural events, and club performances. Also, we want to inform students on the projects we are working on as well as regularly update students on their progress. Moreover, we aim to create an environment in which students can make suggestions to the council. Other students will be able to view and comment on these suggestions, generating an atmosphere in which the general student body can more actively interact with the student council and participate in creating the school we want. Compared to previous methods of communication, where students have communicated with us only via e-mail, we would now be able to better accommodate the opinions of the students, satisfy their needs, and make their voices heard. In addition, students will be able to vote or complete surveys through this app, and though as of now this function may not be included in the first beta version, a question-and-answer board will be available in later versions.
Who participated in the development of this app?
After we first proposed the idea of making a mobile app, we asked the president of SPARCS to review the plan. The president approved, so SPARCS participated in creating this app.
Could you elaborate on the naming contest?
The names were reviewed based on three criteria. First, the name for the app had to be sustainable, meaning that it has to be usable not only this year but also afterwards. Second, we wanted a name that could represent the student council, so that students can know the app was made and distributed by us. Lastly, we looked for a novel and attractive name.
The naming contest was held for one week during which we received over 200 suggestions. After narrowing down the list based on the criteria, the council members voted for the most suitable name for this app. While names such as KA-Center, KAI-Engine, and BoardKA were notable as well, the name that was finally selected was KUA, which stands for KAIST Undergraduate Association. The result of the naming contest was posted on ARA, KAIST Portal System, and our Facebook Page, and an iPad will be awarded to the student who suggested the name.
When do you plan to distribute the app?
The coding of KUA is almost complete, and we are currently in the final stage of correcting system bugs. We aim to register KUA on the app market and distribute it to the undergraduate students within this year.
Do you have any final comments?
I would like to thank the SPARCS members for collaborating with us in making this mobile app. I hope that this app can play a vital role in enhancing the communication between the KAIST Undergraduate Student Council and the undergraduate student body.