Campus Lantern The
Spring 2016 Issue 2
Mae Ehrnfelt Editor-in-Chief “We made Libro for the students. We’ve all been ripped off at the bookstore.” Libro is a peer-to-peer textbook exchange app created by a group of Eastern students. It is meant to cut the cost of schoolbooks that – as we all know – can be as expensive as $200. Showing the app on his phone, Battye explains, “On the app itself it shows the location of someone, so when you buy a book from them, you can easily arrange to meet up.” The app offers face-toface purchase opportunities, but users can also mail books to each other from further distances. Current users of the app range in location from Connecticut to Massachusetts to Michigan to Puerto Rico. “It’s been shuffled all over the place, which is really cool. We wanted to start in Connecticut because that’s where we all went to school,” says Battye. What can take up to five years to complete, the developers did in under four months. The journey started last March when Rubenstein was interning with Hersant to create an app. The duo needed an app to put out into the marketplace to get their names known, so Rubenstein shared his textbook exchange app idea with Hersant, and soon thereafter brought Battye and Riquelme on board as well. That summer, the Eastern students were all programming the app full-time as well as interning with other companies. “We started programming in June,” Riquelme shares, “By Devan F. Parsons Visual Arts Club Member With the year 2016 finally arriving many soon-to-be Eastern graduates look back, thinking about what legacy they’ve left for others to follow. All the while many survivors of their first semester in college look forward thinking about the road that lays ahead. But whether you’re a graduating senior or a not-so incoming freshman or anywhere in between, the members of the Visual Arts Club are excited at their accomplishment of creating Eastern’s first Student Art Gallery. They are also proud
February 18, 2016
The student newspaper of Eastern Connecticut State University
“Libro Books” App Created By Eastern Students is Rated 5 Stars
Randy Rubenstein / Eastern Connecticut State University The morning of Friday, October 17th, 2015: Battye, Rubenstein, Riquelme, and Hersant met at Thread City Diner here in Willimantic to officially release the Libro app. “We were expecting all these bells and whistles, but it was just a click of a button,” says Battye with a laugh. Clockwise: Jeremy Battye, Business Information Systems major at Eastern with a Computer Science Minor; Libro’s lead programmer. Ivan Riquelme, Graduated from Easterm in December with a degree in Business Information Systems, minor in Business Administration; Libro’s lead database engineer. Randy Rubenstein, Business major at Eastern; in charge of marketing and overseeing Libro. Park Hersant, business partner; in charge of marketing and funding for Libro.
the beginning of July we were working every day. We would come home at 9pm every night, and work for six more hours.” For about three months, the app was in its testing stages, with the developers grasping which features should be added. The developers downloaded hundreds of other book-selling apps in order to compare them to what they wanted Libro to be. Finally, in October 2015, the first version of the app was released into the Apple store. Since its release, the
app has gained in popularity. It currently has a rating of five stars, and is one of the first apps that appear when the keyword “Libro” is searched. Aside from the app, there is a Facebook page, Twitter profile, website, and a blog dedicated to Libro Books, LLC. While the app is currently only available for Apple products, there are plans for it to be released for the Android app store as soon as next month. However, anyone can access the book exchange on the app’s
website at www.libro-app.com. Battye reflects on the success of the app, “Libro is still in its first Apple version, a beta, yet it still has so many people using it. There’s so much activity even though we’re still technically in a testing phase.” Riquelme, too, is optimistic about the app. He says, “Right now we are in a good position. Looking forward to the future, we have so much that we want to add into the app that is not offered in the market at the moment.” This is only the start of Libro. The
developers meet every week to work on and test the app as well as to discuss ways to better it for forthcoming versions. They are also in the process of looking for grants from the state to further develop the app. Compared to Amazon or other book-selling websites such as Chegg, Libro reigns because of how easy it is to use. Instead of having to type in a book’s information manually, Libro allows sellers to simply scan the ISBN of the book that they want to sell, and the app will import all of the information for them. Battye summed it up nicely when he said, “The beauty is in the simplicity.” In March, the app is going to be exhibited at the American Marketing Association Conference in New Orleans through the Eastern AMA chapter. “We’ll have a display there,” Rubenstein explains, “We’re one of the 150 schools participating in the conference.” Battye, Rubenstein, and Riquelme are perfect examples of the great work ethic that Eastern students hold. If they could go from being typical college students to being interviewed by newspapers and local television stations every week and flying on private airplanes to Boston to work on the app they’ve developed almost overnight, so could you. The success of the Libro app surely proves that for Eastern students, anything is possible.
Visual Arts: The Underdogs to announce that this Gallery will host its first exhibit from March 10th to 23rd: The Art Initiative. When the Visual Arts Club made it their goal to have this accomplished it came from the frustration of not being able to have a member showcase. At the end of the 2015 spring semester, the club wanted to do an exhibit for their members’ work for the coming fall, however when it came to reserving room 223 in the Student Center as the space it became very unlikely that the exhibit would happen. “When
we went to request the space,” the club’s president Brennan Yua says, “we were told that we would have to reserve the room literally a year in advance.” Room 223 in the Student Center is meant to “house the annual Arts and Sciences conference, and was made with the notion of hanging artwork in mind, whereas other rooms in the Student Center just don’t have the necessary accommodations.” As was st ate d by Yua. The club, not knowing where to turn, looked at the school’s new multi-million dollar Visual
Arts building that was being constructed “without a student art gallery in mind.” Yua says, “We began to feel underappreciated as art students on Eastern’s campus.” But they were not swayed; like many great innovators they saw a need and felt the frustration of not having it and so, the fire was lit. The Visual Arts Club sought to have room 223 as the space for the Student Art Gallery because it would “not cost the university any additional funds, and would be a rather small organizational issue,” Yua said, which makes sense. But
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the university needs the space to remain an open meeting space. SGA President, Justin Ahern saw the petition and didn’t want to see the club “waste [their] time petitioning for a meeting room in the Student Center that [he] know[s] for a fact will never be anything but a meeting room.” The Visual Arts Club could not be dissuaded. The club saw the need for a Student Art Gallery Continued on page 3
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Published on Feb 18, 2016
Published on Feb 18, 2016
The second issue of Spring 2016. The Campus Lantern is the student newspaper of Eastern Connecticut State University.