Written By: Chancey Boyce
Last summer, Adrian College President Jeffrey Docking was approached with an offer to collaborate with a new college-centric social media app in order to help centralize campus communication about events, community activities and student life at Adrian College. Administrators like Adrian’s Chief of Staff Andrea Saylor say the intention of the app, called Abuzz, is to provide a resource for students to learn about local events without having to file through a bloated email inbox. Adrian has been onboarding the app since last semester’s Welcome Week: Aug. 15, 2021.
“Overall, Abuzz creates a community and engages students. It allows our campus to do fun things, it reaches out to our community. We rolled it out in August and it’s January right now, and in only four months we’ve done a whole lot of things, and we’re really looking forward to using it to bring our community closer together in the coming months,” Saylor says.
Adrian College is currently the only college campus where Abuzz is available. In the past few months, the team at Abuzz has been taking a particular focus on bringing its services to the Adrian College campus, using Adrian’s thousands of users of the Abuzz app as a sort of ‘trial run’ before it brings the app to other college campuses throughout the Midwest. Abuzz offers a variety of useful features for students at Adrian College, including but not limited to updates about campus events, sporting events, deals at local businesses in the community, a discussion board for students to talk about anything without oversight from school officials and a marketplace for students to sell whatever they want.
“The marketplace is a great feature a lot of people don’t know about, but it’s really useful for if you have a futon you don’t need anymore and want to sell, or textbooks at the end of a semester you need to get rid of,” says Abuzz Brand Ambassador and Adrian College student Emma Pelletier.
“It’s great because there’s really no place like the Abuzz marketplace on the internet where Adrian students can get together and sell anything, and that’s a need that I think Abuzz is definitely meeting,” Pelletier said.
The initial number of Adrian students to sign up for an Abuzz account on Welcome Week was around 400, but most of the people who signed up were freshman. Leaders of the Abuzz app decided that in order to get a more varied and diverse amount of Adrian students using the Abuzz app, they would begin to promote several local and on-campus initiatives that would be exclusive to the app.
In the past semester, the team at Abuzz has spearheaded a number of community-building initiatives to bring the Adrian College campus together on a number of occasions.The app team, which includes seven hired student ambassadors who embody several different student interests, has promoted White Out football and hockey games which drove over 400 students to spectate at sporting events, has helped Greek Life organizations raise money, and awarded $1,000 through an on-campus scavenger hunt. The Abuzz team paid for all of these events.
A ‘best place to live on campus’ promotion brought in over two-thousand total student votes in only one week and was so popular that the amount of traffic on the app crashed the Abuzz website.
Recently, the team at Abuzz has been working on its latest initiative, which is a talent contest for students at Adrian called ‘Bulldogs Got Talent’.
“We’ll take any acts from singing to acting to comedians, and submissions are happening this week on the app. Our student ambassadors are going to vote on the top few contestants, and they’re going to compete on Feb. 19 in Dawson Auditorium for a $500 first place cash prize and a $250 second-place prize. And students are going to be the ones choosing the winners, it’s not going to be judges,” says Assistant Dean of Students Thomas Doney.
“We’re really building a community on Abuzz,” says Abuzz Digital Manager Maria Cuccia.
“Just a few weeks ago, a transformer exploded just a few blocks away from my house, and it didn’t even wake me up, but right away, people on Abuzz were posting about it, asking what the noise was,” Cuccia said.