What’s the Word on the Street: Student Panel


  • Katie Lightcap, Pacific University
  • Diana Dayal, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Kyle Shaver, California State University, Northridge
  • Kevin Moore, California State University, Northridge

We’ll get the inside scoop straight from students themselves about how they are using technology and how we can create engaging experiences that truly connect.

Can students comment on this morning’s presentation about the generations?

  • Katie:  we launched our app in January 2016, so it’s all still very new.  We have a very active YikYak community.
  • Diana:  YikYak & SnapChat integrate well with location-based services.  Everywhere I go, there’s a filtered feed based on where I am.  We have a safety network.
  • Kyle:  Yik Yak is entirely anonymous.  We used to go to YouTube, but now a lot of us use Vine for consuming fun content.
  • Kevin:  I like Reddit because anyone can post anything they want and the community votes up what they like the most.  I think this would be very powerful in a university environment.

What about Privacy?

  • Katie:  at pacific, privacy is a big deal, that’s why YikYak seems to be so popular.  Apps that help plan your day are growing in popularity as well.
  • Diana:  at UNC people don’t seem to be quite as interested in their privacy.  IE it would be great to integrate my schedule with Google Maps to help me get from place to place.
  • Kyle:  our generation is willing to give up a lot of personal information depending on the payoff.  We like to feel in control of what information we give out.
  • Kevin:  I agree with Kyle.  I like Google Now because it gives me recommendations for example you need to leave now to get to work on time.  However, we do see a strong split between some of our contemporaries regarding privacy.
  • Diana:  we do like the ability to opt-out.

How Do You Get Information / Notifications?

  • Katie:  email is definitely not dead for me.  I’m a fan of push notifications; great to be able to turn them on/off.  Freshman are typically less on email and more on push notifications.
  • Diana:  email is not dead for me, either.  However, mass emails are!  Mass emails are better formatted for SoMe channels.  Each university has a SnapChat area / filter.
  • Kyle:  everyone has their preferences; I rarely use FB.  We’re opposed to seeing the same thing multiple times.  Text messages work, but catch my interest in the first four words or you’ve lost me.  Humor helps.
  • Kevin:  email is not dead.  Email used to feel personal, but it feels like a different medium now.  Text messages / push notifications feel a lot more personal now, but I think they’re going toward a more impersonal form of communication.

What are some of the things that could make apps more engaging?

  • Katie:  we’re still exploring what we need to incorporate.
  • Diana:  a lot of requests are map integration-related, i.e. bathrooms, printing locations, etc.
  • Kyle:  do this / get this incentives worked well for us when I was in Associated Students.
  • Kevin:  how do you keep your population on your app?  A lot of things we have are one- or two-time use.  One idea I have as an Android user is an app that can give an incentive based on usage, i.e. answering questions.

Can You Talk a Bit About Wearables?

  • Kyle:  I don’t know how much I’d use it.  It’s good for contextual awareness, and at-a-glance info.
  • Diana:  I wouldn’t focus on it – I bring my phone everywhere.  Student IDs via your campus app would be great.   Swiping for events like ApplePay would be really awesome.

Should Schools Offer Purchase Programs for the Latest Devices?

  • Kevin:  I like to buy the latest and greatest – especially Google Nexus devices – but I’m not like everyone else.  I know lots of people who don’t get my obsession.
  • Diana:  many students buy their laptops/iPads through the campus bookstore.
  • Kyle:  I sold phones at Best Buy for a couple years.
  • Katie:  I didn’t get a new phone until mine broke.  I think there’s more benefit over a tablet or notebook purchase program.

What’s the Right Way of Engaging with Students?

  • Katie:  athletics are big at Pacific.  We use a lot of digital signage as well, and that’s effective for us.
  • Diana:  have things that are only accessible via the app.  Our orientation and First Year Experience are very effective for this.
  • Kyle:  hit them where they live:  if they’re on YikYak, do something there.  If they’re on SnapChat, do something there.  Raffles and prizes help.  iOS or Android, btw:  it really doesn’t matter.
  • Kevin:  as a developer, I’d love to see if the university had a set of APIs I could play with.

When do you use the App Versus the Browser?

  • Katie:  whatever I have on me at the time.  If I’m on a browser, I’ll just open a new tab.
  • Diana:  whatever’s fastest.  If the app targets for example, eateries, I’m likely to use that.
  • Kyle:  people are creatures of habit.  If I’m used to doing things on my laptop, that’s what I do.  If it’s easier on my phone, I’ll do it there.
  • Kevin:  in a perfect world, I want the information I need to find it’s way to me.

What did You Think of Morley’s Presentation?

  • Katie:  Harry Potter was my bible, but I definitely agree that my generation is enthusiastic, progressive and open to change.
  • Diana:  I’d say it was spot-on.  We’re very interested in getting involved, so I’d suggest that you get students involved in your mobile apps!
  • Kyle:  also loved Harry Potter.  I felt Morley’s presentation was a little “exposing.”  Put a word on a board in a room and watch a group of us talk!
  • Kevin:  saw the movies, have not read the books 🙂  I thought his comments were spot-on.  Also, you need to watch Silicon Valley.  YouTuber named VSauce has a great intergenerational commentary video.



By Paul Schantz

CSUN Director of Web & Technology Services, Student Affairs. husband, father, gamer, part time aviator, fitness enthusiast, Apple fan, and iguana wrangler.

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