An innovative social media website launched on Monday hoping to replace the cumbersome Facebook group to which AUB students normally turn to for campus inquiries. Campus Society, the brainchild of AUB alumnus Oliver Muller and Georgetown graduate Rashid Ajami, offers a more interactive platform to AUB users.
The start-up was launched by the tech-savvy duo at a crucial time when tensions have grown high on campus due to lack of transparency by the administration and a scheduled increase in tuition fees, compelling frustrated students to turn to social media to voice their concerns.
“The mission (of the society) is to connect students and provide them a medium for exchange. We are trying to fill a gap in the market,” explained co-founder Muller, who holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from AUB. “I attended AUB a few years ago and found it very difficult to get certain things done, like finding adequate housing near campus,” he explained.
Muller and Ajami expect that AUB’s fame as “the flagship school for the Middle East” will allow Campus Society to expand later on to other universities such as the Lebanese American University and Saint Joseph University. “We hope to eventually grow out in Lebanon and, later on, to the rest of the Middle East,” said Rashid Ajami, public relations executive and co-founder to the project.
This self-funded networking site recently garnered its first external funding from UK investors. The start-up’s headquarters is based in London and already has ten employees.
With 500 students already registered, Campus Society not only offers the possibility to connect with peers, but with professors and administrators as well. It aims to become the leading go-to website for AUB students for inquiries on course offerings, jobs and tutoring offers, off-campus housing, and more.
“The thing about Campus Society is that it fills a gap in the market,” said Tamara Jurdi, business student and marketing intern for the start-up.
Students who already joined expressed their support for the up-and-coming website, voicing high hopes for the future.
“The format is easy to understand. It’s user friendly, and it provides better means of attaining the information you desire without having to scroll for hours to find the post you’re looking for,” said AUB freshman Rasha Noureddine.
Emane Abdallah, earning her master’s in biology, concurred. “I felt it’s well organized and informative. It brings all the necessary topics on one page, and I (can) see all the posts. I don’t have to go to the groups’ pages and check their posts, as (is) the case with Facebook.”
As a promotional campaign, Campus Society promises to reward one of its first 1,000 users with $1,000. In addition, the founders expect to release a much awaited for mobile application by the end of 2014.
Users can access the website through the following URL: http://www.campussociety.com
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