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ACCESS cards face redundancy as USU introduces new app

Theodora Von Arnim reports.

Theodora Von Arnim reports.

Students will return to university for Semester 2 only to find that technological innovation will soon render their ACCESS cards obsolete.

The University of Sydney Union (USU) is rolling out a new app which collates a range of relevant information for those that engage with the USU. It will have a customised events calendar, a live newsfeed with updates from PULP media, and information on ACCESS discounts both on and off campus.

On the homepage, your ACCESS membership details are displayed, including your unique barcode, which can be scanned at all USU outlets instead of your card. Inside the app is a calendar of USU events, as well as the events of the clubs and societies you are a member of. Clubs can send notifications and updates to users through the app.

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 7.27.15 pmThis is good news for those who regularly forget their cards. But then again, a card can’t run out of battery.

USU President Michael Rees has indicated physical ACCESS cards will still be available to those students wanting to extract maximum value from their membership fee.

It appears that you can also subscribe to notifications from groups that you aren’t a member of, as long as you’re an ACCESS member.

Screenshots provided to Honi feature a garish purple and red backdrop that makes its white text almost unreadable. The background is also covered in winky tongue emoji’s, because #youth. At least the next crop of Union Board candidates can campaign on the platform of a better theme colour.

It is unclear what implications this will have for political club executives seeking to send notifications to only their own faction.

The USU is optimistic about the levels of student interest in the app.

Maybe, with the app’s help, more than 10 people will turn up to the next Snowball party at Hermanns.