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New app called Swpr. launched to combat hunger on college campus

Courtesy of Tanaya M. Asnani and Brian Ramirez

Courtesy of Tanaya M. Asnani and Brian Ramirez

Two computer science majors at the University of Massachusetts have developed a new app intended to combat hunger.

Swpr., a free iOS application that will connect students who need meal swipes to eat in the dining commons with students who can share a swipe with them, was developed by sophomores Tanaya M. Asnani and Brian Ramirez and was launched Sept. 12.

“The purpose of Swpr. is to easily allow members of the campus community in helping one another without much effort,” said Ramirez.

Students can sign up for Swpr. with their UMass email addresses and start using the app immediately.

According to Ramirez, he first thought of the app in August when he came across a Facebook group called “Need a swipe? Got a swipe?” which had about 2,000 people in it.

“This will also be helpful for students who have forgotten, lost or misplaced their UCard,” said Ramirez.

The app currently has 32 users, according to its’ creators. They expect that Swpr. will gain a large user base which will mostly consist of campus community members.

“I expect that as the user base of this app expands, the app will deliver much better performance in handling more meal requests per minute,” said Asnani.

Ramirez also said that he and Asnani are considering making the app open source, “so anyone in the campus community who knows how to code can contribute to it.”

“It will be great to see where the app will go in the future and make sure it can give the maximum help it can to the campus community,” said Asnani.

As it currently stands, UMass dining services has a ‘no one goes hungry’ policy of feeding students who have forgotten UCards or have run out of swipes.

Nujhat Purnata can be reached at npurnata@umass.edu.

 

 

Comments
4 Responses to “New app called Swpr. launched to combat hunger on college campus”
  1. Catface says:

    UMASS has a “no one goes hungry policy” which translates to “we will bill you the $13 meal every time and you can’t graduate until you pay it and oh by the way nobody will tell you that this is a possibility in the first place policy” with the tagline of “can’t afford a meal plan? sucks to suck”. Also this app could actually take away from the Facebook group which had been critical to my eating on campus last year ((as an off campus student who can’t afford a meal plan)) because it is only available to iphones, limiting meal availability exclusively to those with iphones by their lack of presence in the group. …. consider that the push for widespread use of this app might actually further marginalize poor students who often own cheap phones/no phones/android phones.

    Additionally, fuck UMASS’s make-believe philanthropy. What the fuck are they doing to make food on campus availablee to poor students? Spending millions on a new food center and bumping the prices? $7.00 for 1 small burger at the food truck? Umass doesn’t give a shit about its poor students, all they care about is getting your financial aid money. I have literally run around campus begging for food because I got stuck on campus so long and the only people who cared were the folks at the off campus student center. My friends would sneak me into dining halls so I could load up a few Tupperware and have lunch for a few days. What does it mean when there is even 1 student going hungry at a school they pay $14-25,000 to attend?

    Why don’t you try talking to poor students or financially independent students and see how they do? See if anyone actually knows about this mysterious policy? Or do we just continue pretending that poor people don’t or shouldn’t go to college?

  2. Catface says:

    UMass’ “No one goes hungry” policy? Oh, you mean the “No one escapes their bursar’s bill for $13 meals and can’t graduate until they pay for the food they couldn’t afford” policy, with the tagline “u no have meal plan? sucks to suck”. UMass can cry philanthropy all they want, but when the hell do they actually *offer* this “policy” to students? I used to have to sneak in to get food and they’d catch me and say “pay or get out” and I couldn’t even use my friends’ meal plans because it wasn’t the “appropriate id” even after it was consented by the person….. If UMass continues to pretend like they give ANY PUCKS about poor students on campus I might just throw up my $0.25 Ramen.

    UMass doesn’t give an ounce about us as long as it gets it’s pretty little financial aid package, which it can’t even feed us with. Yeah, cool, you have decent food…. at RESTAURANT prices. UMass took away many of the kitchens in the dorms and when it didn’t, limited access to them to require you to use the dining halls and prevent you from feeding yourself, forcing people to take out thousands more in loans. Gilipollas.

    What is UMass doing to provide affordable food to students on campus? Offering a $1,400 meal plan for 100 meals? Little more than 1 meal per day over the course of 3 months? I’ve fed myself pretty well, 3 meals per day on $200/month. The cheapest meal plan is more than double the cost of feeding oneself and less than 1/3 of the food. What is THAT???? In order to eat you need to be able to afford the $2,500-$3,000 meal plans? Then they spent millions renovating Blue Wall to put in more restaurants, with a pretty small meal costing minimum $8. There are plenty of non-meal options for cheaper, if you want to eat small amounts of bread items. I have recently been stuck, hungry on campus without money and ran around begging for food or to find a way to eat and nobody cared except for the Off Campus Student Center manager.

    It should also be considered that creating an application exclusively for iphone users could potentially further marginalize the poorest in the community who might not have a smart phone/any phone/an iphone. I realize that most people didn’t use the facebook group because they had no food options, but it’s important to remember that WE EXIST. Financially independent students, very poor students, we don’t make the uni look good so we’re regularly erased, ignored, devalued. This app, with greater use, will reduce the use of the facebook page and leave people behind. Additionally, how will it be maintained after folks graduate? Will it suck the facebook page dry and then leave it out in the sun to bake? How dedicated are you?

    /end transmission

  3. fish says:

    full support @ catface

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