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CarolinaGO, a mobile application designed to inform students of everything they need to know at UNC, has been in the making since 2012, and students' partnership with UNC's Information Technology Services has finally brought the app to fruition.

Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Union, developers will host a launch party. Students can pick up free food, totes bags and stickers and will be taught how to download the app. Students are also encouraged to give their feedback on the application.

Features of the app, available for free through the App Store and Google Play Store, include University news, a calendar, a map and a bus tracker. Information on the dining halls and schedules for athletic events are also available. 

“It really provides a set of information that anyone, either on campus or coming to campus or people who might be away from campus that are interested in what’s going on, have an opportunity to learn more,” said Chris Kielt, vice chancellor and chief information officer for ITS.  

The app was originally a student government project included in the platform of former Student Body President Will Leimenstoll, and the student group began working on the app during the summer of 2012. 

Senior Nikita Shamdasani, a member of the student-led group that launched the app, said the mobile app is important because technology is such a large part of the lives of many. 

“I hope that it will just make their lives easier,” she said.

One unique feature of the app is an interactive map called the "Virtual Pit,” which informs users about the organizations that will be in the Pit on any given day. 

“No one can scream louder than someone else on the 'Virtual Pit', so it’s nice because a smaller organization can have as much ‘oomph’ as student government for example," said junior Diana Dayal, who is a member of the student-led group. "It’s equal space." 

Dayal said the group plans to create an updated version of the app for the spring semester, which may include library hours and catalogues, a more comprehensive interactive map and Carolina Computing Initiative Printing locations.

She said it is hard to receive funding as a student-led team, which is why they formed a partnership with ITS. 

“We didn’t want to just be something that students create and gets forgotten when we graduated,” she said. 

ITS helped launch the app by paying for the software and working on the design. Carolina Creates also helped fund marketing for the group. 

As the students involved in the creation of CarolinaGO graduate, Kielt said he hopes to continue working with students on campus to ensure relevancy within the app.

“ITS wanted to foster the creation of the app to provide a long-term home,” he said. “As students graduate and go on, we wanted to make sure that was something we could build upon.”

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