Party planning app encourages accessibility and safety

Courtesy+image

Rebecca Baldree

Courtesy image

James Livingston, Channels Staff

A team of City College and UCSB students is creating an event hosting application that intends to revolutionize the party scene in the Isla Vista community and college campuses beyond.

Plug is designed to create a safe and secure environment for partygoers by connecting them with event hosts through a social network. The mobile app will target Isla Vista, California, before expanding to other colleges and communities in the state. Plug is scheduled to launch in April 2017.

“The idea is to create an application that facilitates accessibility and safety in college communities,” Chief Executive Officer Melvin Zaid said. “We ultimately plan to expand further and target different kinds of events, not just parties.”

Zaid, 18 is a business and economics major at City College. As CEO, he manages a team of 12 developers and programmers, consisting almost entirely of City College and UCSB students. Zaid also works to promote the app by collaborating with fraternities and music collectives around Isla Vista like We Jungle and Sound & Society.

“Our app is different because we are a team of millennials that knows exactly what our target market needs, and we are a making an app that fills their needs,” said Zaid. “Our main goal is to make college communities safer and allow people to have fun in a safe way.”

The application incorporates a live map feature that is used to locate current events being hosted by other users of the app. Users will register with basic personal information so that hosts know exactly who will be at their event, and so users may find their friends at various events throughout the community.

Hosts will also be able to charge their guests an entry fee, and can grant access for their event to guests of their choice.

“We’re taking care of safety by implementing an S.O.S. button which can be activated with a simple click that lets you call one of your three best friends if you’re in trouble,” Zaid said.

Kyle Komadina, a 23-year-old UCSB student and Isla Vista resident, said he believes that the safety features incorporated within the app will be beneficial to his community.

“This is an app that I would definitely use,” Komadina said. “I think the SOS button is a great feature that offers a lot of protection to residents, and especially for girls to feel safe at all times.”

Zaid said that his team’s mission is to make college communities feel more open and connected, by introducing an app that encourages face to face social interaction.

“In this mobile world, everyone is using their phone all the time,” he said. “I want to push people to look up and start talking to each other, so if that can be done through an app then that’s my ultimate goal.”

The application was initially scheduled to be released on Feb. 10, 2017, but was pushed back one month due to a programming issue a week prior to the launch. A launch party will take place after the official release that will be open to anybody who downloads the app. Plug expects between five to seven parties every weekend to be hosted through the app after the launch.

Update: Feb. 28, 2017

A previous version of this story stated that the app is scheduled to launch in March 2017. According to Zaid, the new launch date is set for April 2017.