A Campus in the Palm of Your Hand

SunGod CQ Kameron Black Flyer

UCSD alumni Peter DePaulo and Kameron Black speak about Campus Quad, a mobile application they designed as an integrated digital replacement for on-campus flyering

A campus as tangibly scattered and divided as UCSD can easily give way to a sense of disconnection and alienation among its students. The developers of Campus Quad — a mobile app that visually consolidates campus communication — are proposing a remedy. In an effort to implement their solution, two of their founding team members, UCSD alumni Peter DePaulo and Kameron Black, have returned to their alma mater to launch the app on campus.

Campus Quad serves as a substitute for flyering. Flyers, as defined by the app, can be photographs, event notices, classified ads or coupons for special events. Individual students or groups can post flyers to the entire campus, an organization or a select few while following their friends and clubs or activities of interest. Additionally, the mapping feature of the app allows students to see and physically track when and where events are taking place throughout the campus. The newest version of the app was released mid-September. Android and iPhone users can download the app for free from the Apple App Store on iTunes or Google Play.

DePaulo described the app as a digital version of an on-campus community.

“What we’ve done is created this atmosphere where as soon as somebody steps onto campus — as soon as they open up their phones — there’s a place that they can find what they want,” Black said.

The app first gained traction at Duke University about a year ago and was later introduced to other campuses, including Stanford University and Foothill Community College — and now, UCSD.

The idea for the app stemmed from DePaulo and Black’s qualms with flyering while establishing a peer mentor program on campus as undergraduates at UCSD a couple years ago.

“We both hated flyering — absolutely, hands-down hated flyering,” DePaulo said.

DePaulo disclosed the faults that they found with flyering: ineffective targeted marketing and wasted paper. He explained how this sent them on a mission to digitalize flyers, which resulted in Campus Quad.

“All of a sudden, you’re not bombarded by all these different flyers — flyers getting lost in your backpack that you never even read — and your flurry of notifications from Facebook or emails,” Black said. “All of a sudden, it’s just one app that organizes all of that in a clear and concise manner so that you can have an easier way of connecting.”

Black believes that the app has the potential to work toward eliminating the “UC Socially Dead” mantra.

“We have a six-college system that separates us from the very start,” Black said. “[Using this app] is a way to bring us back together. We’re able to create this connection and this camaraderie that culminates in abolishing this old idea about UCSD and bringing back the culture in a new way.”

DePaulo expressed his desire for the app to encourage detached students to get involved.

“Some people could say that these people are lazy, but maybe they’re just shy,” DePaulo said. “When I was a freshman, I was super shy. I didn’t know where to go. I was afraid of asking where things were. [This is] a subtle way to get people connected.”

DePaulo hopes that the app will stimulate students’ creativity.

“I would hope that it would help UCSD students get a little more creative about their social experiences on campus,” DePaulo said. “I want to see people using it in ways I haven’t thought of.”

The Campus Quad team recently created a method of streaming a live feed of students’ postings from the application to televisions connected to servers — a development that they will release at UCSD later this month.