Freshman creates an app for Black Student Union organizations

Freshman creates an app for Black Student Union organizations

Freshman creates an app for Black Student Union organizations
February 28
01:15 2019

Alyissa Sanders, a computer science freshman, recently became the first black female to create an app for a UNT student organization as an undergraduate.

Sanders presented the app on Feb. 21 to the Black Student Union’s House of Delegates, which comprises of two student members from each organization.

Currently called the “BSU App,” it was created with the intention of showcasing organizations under BSU for prospective freshman or transfer students who plan to attend UNT in the future.

“You don’t really have that much time at org fairs to talk to all the organizations,” Sanders said. “This app helps students who did not receive enough information about a org and want to know more about an organization.”

Sanders has been working on the app since Thanksgiving Break and has a committee of five members that includes sports management freshman Dasia Smith.

During winter break, Sanders had her tonsils removed and Hubbard and Smith helped out a lot during her time of absence.

“Screen making is hard and I’m not a designer,” Sanders said. Daisa also helped with the business model for this app such as the copywriting documents.

The first update was originally supposed to be released Feb. 24, but due to Apple and its licensors Sanders is still working on an official public release date.

Sanders is one of 40 interns for the Sydney Grey Development Program, which divides interns among 12 mentors.

Technical communications senior Givon Conner has been Sanders’ assigned mentor since September 2018.

Conner is a web developer at UNT and and said he noticed Sanders’ talent early on and was her first point of contact when suggesting the creation of the app.

Freshman computer science major Alyissa Sanders is the first black female student to create an app for a student organization at UNT as an undergraduate. Image by: Trevon McWilliams.

“When she had questions, I would help guide her but she did a lot of the work,” Conner said. “About 95 percent was her taking initiative and getting it done.”

Kinesiology senior Russell Lemell is the director of the Sydney Grey Student Development Program.

“She has been a great intern for the program,” Lemmell said. “Helping other interns with projects and is the first intern to volunteer to do anything for the program.”

Sanders also competed in a Hackathon in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this past weekend and receive first place for a challenge dealing with logging distances with virtual reality.

“It’s something you really don’t see nowadays,” Conner said. “It’s one thing to make an app, it’s another thing to win a hacking competition as an African American female, especially to be a freshman.”

Sanders said she hopes this app encourages many organizations across campus to create apps that share more information about what the missions and purposes of their organization.

Currently there are 10 organizations shown on the app. Sanders said she is hopeful that all the organizations will be showcased by the end of this semester.

“I hope it starts a trend for more students to get involved within BSU,” Sanders said. “I hope this app puts BSU on the map.”

This is not Sanders’ first time creating an app, as she has also made gaming apps including remakes of Super Mario Bros., Flappy Bird and others that have never been published to download.

“The BSU app has been a new base for me,” Sanders said. “Coming from the gaming world, this is definitely something new to me.”

The full version of the app is set to be released by May 15. 

Featured Image: Sanders presents her “BSU App” to the Black Student Union House of delegates. Courtesy UNT Black Student Union. Image Courtesy UNT Black Student Union. 

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Trevon McWilliams

Trevon McWilliams

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