The Undergraduate Council of Students listened to a presentation by the Office of Information Technology about the BrownU app and myBrown portal at its general body meeting Wednesday evening.
The purpose of coming to the meeting was to increase student awareness of the app and portal and to receive feedback, said Assistant Director of IT Communications and Training Stephanie Obodda.
“With past UCS cohorts, we have had close relationships with people and heard a lot of great feedback,” she said.
The BrownU app and myBrown portal were created to aggregate the many different services that students use into one place to make accessing resources easier, Obodda added.
The app is meant to serve as an “on-the-go” tool that shows services — such as dining hall options and laundry availability — that are helpful for navigating the day, Obodda said.
The app also includes a campus map that lists information such as the locations of gender-inclusive restrooms and the accessibility of buildings, she said.
UCS members shared that they would like to see the app include the locations of wheelchair-accessible restrooms and water bottle filling stations.
Other services available on the app include a personalized daily schedule, Workday access and students’ BearBucks and meal plan balances.
While the app serves as an “on-the-go resource,” the myBrown portal is meant to be a “one-stop-shop” that aggregates all the information and resources a student or faculty member may need, said Senior Project Manager and Scrum Master Meave Bradley, another member of the Digital Innovation Group in OIT.
Similar to the app, the portal aggregates student information from various platforms the University uses. For example, a student could use the portal to look at job postings from BrownConnect and Workday without needing to navigate to either of the sites, she said.
Other services linked to the portal include enrollment information, advisor contacts and Dean office hour sign-ups.
The portal will not replace the other platforms that the University uses but will make the information available on them more “handy and accessible,” Bradley said.
Also at the meeting, Community Engagement Chair Ayana Boyd ’24 gave the Council an overview of her position, which was created last academic year.
Currently, Boyd is focused on “creating resources for and working with student groups, … working with the student body and College Hill neighborhoods and businesses, as well as supporting lobbying the local government,” she said.
Some of Boyd’s current projects include seeing how UCS can support the fulfillment of the Task Force on Anti-Black Racism’s recommendations for community engagement, creating partnerships between UCS and community engagement organizations on campus, bringing local artists to Brown and working with elected officials in Rhode Island on student civic engagement.
Given the number of projects that fall under the purview of her role, the Council is considering making community engagement into a new committee rather than a single position, Boyd said.