A mass text message system offers a new communication line.
Aimed at providing a means of communication for student organizations, SwoopTEXT recently went live on Main Campus.
After a trial version of the system was tested at Princeton University last spring, SwoopTEXT has spread to colleges along the East Coast.
Through SwoopText, student groups can register online and use the website to send timely text messages to members. University email addresses are required to access the website.
Michael Keaton and Michael Pearl created SwoopTEXT at Princeton to make student organization communications more convenient.
“The idea [Keaton] and [Pearl] had was to find a way that group leaders could acquire new members and group members could keep up to date with what’s going on within the group,” junior finance major Will Sabate said.
Sabate and other students collaborated with Keaton and Pearl when bringing the program to Temple.
Sabate said that, because text messaging is so wide spread in college-age students, text messaging was found to be the most efficient way to get information to students.
SwoopTEXT is tailored more toward student groups than other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and provides free, unlimited texting for students for groups that choose to opt-in to the system.
Sabate said the program is not mandatory for student groups and opting into it is optional.
The idea for SwoopTEXT was pitched to a professor at Princeton who liked the idea and ran a trial version of the system for graduation.
Sabate said students were given the choice of opting into the system during graduation festivities. They found that about half of the students opted in and a vast majority of those surveyed were pleased with the system.
“We got a lot of positive feedback from those students, and the university was very pleased with what they saw,” Sabate said. “Of the students surveyed, 90 percent of them said they would definitely use this tool again and they found it very helpful.”
Sabate added that they are continually meeting with different student organizations on Main Campus and keeping them up-to-date on what is going on with the program.
“It’s on [the group leaders] to create value for the site. So, the more users that are on SwoopTEXT, the more value it holds for every group,” he said. “Not only does this site serve to help groups communicate, it also is a virtual marketplace for groups.”
Some student organizations have already opted into the site.
“SwoopTEXT sounds like a fantastic way to communicate still better and more quickly,” President of Students for Intellectual Freedom Alvaro Watson said in an email. “As students with many classes, a job, and internship–or all three, like myself and friends in similar situations–this would help simplify the process of communicating issues from the simple to urgent ones.”
Watson added that it would be much easier to contact and schedule events through SwoopTEXT instead of the current process of emailing through contact lists.
“I will definitely be looking into [opting into] it,” Watson said.
Sean Carlin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.