The creation of the UniHall app would not have been possible without Ed Hourani, an alumnus of Currie Hall (now known as University Hall). He was in Currie Hall from 2010 – 2015, and is now in his final year of his Masters, doing professional engineering.
His fond recollections of his college years helped shape who he is as a person now, and had inspired him to give back to his beloved community by developing this app. Initially, Ed stayed off campus, but he described how he ‘found it difficult to meet people and break into the culture,’ given that he had completed high school overseas. It was on a fateful day where he met someone from Currie Hall, and after hearing about the exciting stories of college life, he applied to stay at the Hall the next semester.
His favourite memories revolved around his involvement in the intercollege sports, especially with the healthy rivalry amongst the colleges – you didn’t even have to be good at sports, as there was always a position for you on the team! Ed thoroughly enjoyed his time at college. At that time, there were only 250 residents, and he told me that ‘it felt like everyone knew everyone, and the community had an amazing family feeling. I got to meet amazing people from all around the world, and because it was our home, it was really easy to form some really great friendships that lasted ever since.’
During his time, he witnessed the change from Currie Hall to University Hall, and with it, the changing community. Something he found, was that there were arising challenges with this transition, as it became more difficult to keep track of what is happening. With this, sparked his determination to pursue the development of this app, as he wanted to give residents the ‘most convenient and streamlined tool’ to help them break into the UniHall community better.
Melissa Suckley, our former Deputy Principal, acted as project leader in the development of this app. She wanted to be involved with this as it ‘could be the perfect “one stop shop” for our community and could potentially open the door for us to change how we communicate with residents.’ Similar to the views of other residents, she also elaborated on how ‘we have so many communication methods and I think it can be quite overwhelming and, at times, inconsistent.’
Since its inception, over 350 residents have already downloaded the UniHall app on their phones. It contains everything a resident needs; ranging from UniHall support contact details, news updates, registration for events, maintenance log, FAQs to the heavily anticipated weekly Dining Hall menu. Many residents have been so relieved that this app exists, as it’s ‘very convenient to check everything about UniHall,’ saving a lot of my time,’ as Gwen Wu commented.
I asked Ed if he had any pearls of wisdom for current residents of UniHall and what he had to say really resonated with what I believe.
“Show up! I have found that the toughest part of starting something new, or trying to achieve something in life is just showing up and not shying away. You might not achieve what you set out to, but just by getting up, leaving your comfort zone and exploring something you haven’t before will 100% of the time result in better outcomes than staying in and staying comfortable,” says Ed UniHall app developer.
Finally, on behalf of all the residents, we’d like to express our sincere gratitude to you Ed, along with all the other staff involved, for taking the time to create such a wonderful app for all of us. It really had helped, having a better knowledge and awareness to what is happening around the Hall. Ed and the UniHall staff are continually improving the app to suit our needs, so if anyone had any feedback or ideas, please let them know!
Written by UniHall reporter Dewi Ang