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Sac State students create mobile app to keep campus community connected – StateHornet.com

Campus networking app Buzly features a marketplace and online social platforms for students to communicate with each other
Tony Rodriguez
App co-creators Srinjay Verma (right), a computer engineering major, and Abubeker Hussen (left), a mechanical engineering major, pose in front of the Buzly app table in the quad during the Club Days event Monday, Feb. 7. The two engineering majors built the app with the intention to encourage a more involved campus community.
Tyra Green

Srinjay Verma is a third-year computer engineering major at Sacramento State. When he first started coming to campus, he found it difficult to connect with other students outside of the classroom. 
“I also wanted to meet people in my major and find other people who kind of had the same interest as I did and it was kind of difficult to do that,” Verma said.
Verma and three other Sac State students decided to try to solve the problem by creating Buzly.
Buzly is a new app designed by Sac State students who said they hope to help students connect with each other more easily. 
The app was developed by Verma alongside co-creators Abubeker Hussen, a fourth-year mechanical engineering major, Jackie J Diaz, alumnus, and Ryan Fly, a fourth-year biology major. 
“I couldn’t stand to open up my email and see the mess that comes out of my email,” said Verma. “There’s just notifications from my professor, emails from the different university programs, and I was just like ‘there’s got to be a better way.’” 
Verma decided to take action by creating a platform for students to gain information in a more concise way that would entice them to stay informed about the campus community. 
“I wanted to create a way that would allow the university to communicate with students in a way that students actually wanted to get information.” 
According to its creators, Buzly started out as an idea for an online marketplace where students could sell books, dorm items, and other university commodities. Verma said he got the idea when he was in a summer program called Hornet Leadership, where he worked with Diaz and Fly to get the project off the ground.
Abubeker Hussen, another of Buzly’s co-creators, said he had a similar idea for an online marketplace, having started one of his own on Instagram. He met Verma in Fall 2020, and together with Diaz and Fly, took the idea to the Carlsen Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on campus to create a development and release plan.
“Right before we switched from the marketplace to Buzly, where it is now, we did this survey to know ‘what are some of the problems students have?,’ and we went out and surveyed a good amount of people,” Hussen said. “I think that’s where we saw a common trend, a lot of students were having trouble with connecting, especially with being online.”  
The survey reportedly told them that students wanted to make friends and build relationships with others on campus, but had a difficult way of doing so.
On the homepage of Buzly, students can make posts and updates. There is also a CSUS page that allows Sac State officials to post updates as well. 
Buzly also features a groups page, where students can join and create different groups such as; school clubs, sports, campus life and events, and more that allow people to post in and start conversations with others in the group.
 
First-year biology major and Buzly user Hinna Mujaddidi said Buzly helped make the process of being informed and talking with other students much more accessible.
“It’s my first year at Sac State so I didn’t know what to expect when it came to other people, but I definitely think Buzly has left a huge impact,” Mujaddidi said. “Buzly is super helpful with updates whether it’s coming directly from the students or from the groups, it’s reliable.” 
To generate new users, Verma and the other co-creators have been promoting the app through Instagram and hanging up flyers around campus to get more students on the app.
“I work at the Courtyard Market,” computer engineering major Carlos Caceres said. “The app creator came in and asked if he could put some flyers for the app on display. We said yes and I got interested and downloaded the app from the QR code on the flier.” 
In addition to providing an online social platform for students, Buzly also allows campus programs to post updates from President Nelsen and places like the University Union and Student Service Center.
“We’re hoping to have Sac State roll it out in the next couple of months as an actual program, something you can see in a freshman checklist when you come to Sac State,” Verma said.
“As far as expanding the app beyond Sac State, we’re hoping to use Sac State as a blueprint for how we can do the rest of the CSU system.” 
Students can download Buzly in the App Store or Google Play, and register with their CSUS email address, which the app requires to ensure that all users are Sac State students.
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