USG discusses FlashFeet, FlashLine at public meeting

Kent State USG holds a public meeting in the Governance Chambers in the Kent State Student Center. Oct. 7, 2015. 

Sarah Matthews

Members of Kent State’s Undergraduate Student Government discussed several topics, including updates on the bike share program and upcoming changes to FlashLine, at a public meeting Wednesday in the Governance Chambers.

Chris John, assistant director of outdoor adventure in the Recreational Services department, addressed the members of USG about updates regarding the FlashFleet program, which USG helped to sponsor.

“There are 60 bikes on campus and multiple locations,” said John, who is also the assistant director of FlashFeet. “We currently have about 300 current active members.”

According to USG’s budget for 2015 to 2016, the Operations budget allocated $25,000 for the bike share program. However, the program is no longer free to the public as it has been in the past, due to misuse of the bikes.

“We kind of got walked all over,” John said. “Bikes would end up in the bushes and thrown in dumpsters.”

Despite these complications, the program is hoping to expand and potentially become a free service again or lessen the current membership fee.

John shared the news of a potential new course to be made available on Blackboard as early as this coming spring semesters.

“It would be an educational course that has some riding safety tips and rules of the road, so if you go through that we could give you a discounted credit on your account,” he said.

John said this would be a way to lessen the $25 membership fee for students and encourage them to become members of FlashFleet rather than paying as they go.

Another issue discussed at the meeting was the upcoming Portal Redesign Project, which is intended to make FlashLine more efficient and modern.

Two of the members of the project team addressed members of USG to ask for their participation in a Beta version of the new FlashLine before they make a preview of it available to the entire campus.

Cesquinn Curtis, executive director for the administration division of Student Affairs, said the beta version is in the beginning stages, having only been developed in about four or five weeks, so feedback from USG is crucial.

“Instead of creating this product and then waiting until the end to get feedback, we’re getting feedback along the way,” he said.

Sameer Jaleel, director of Web Presence, said before creating the beta prototype, the redesign team conducted several focus groups, which led to several features being added.

“One of the main key themes that showed up in the report over and over and the focus groups is having your own individual touch and feel, which means customization,” Jaleel said.

The new FlashLine will include a “My Dashboard” feature, tailored notifications and a search bar. Curtis said USG members can expect an invite to check out the new FlashLine on Oct. 16.

Sarah Matthews is the student politics and USG reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].