With influenza-like illness spreading through campus, GWClassNotes – a student-run, note-taking business – has seen an increase in student purchases, the president of the company said this week.
GWClassNotes has increased business by 15 percent since last semester, according to Corey Cohen, co-founder and president of the company. Repeat customers have also increased by 18 percent.
“We certainly think that illness is a factor in why people may miss a lecture here and there and thus rely on our material to stay up to date,” Cohen said.
Because of this semester’s spread of the flu, specifically the H1N1 virus, or swine flu variation, Cohen said the company started the Offer to Ill Notetaking Kustomers program. OINK, as the program is known, provides free notes to students who have proof they missed class due to the H1N1 virus, including a doctor’s note from Student Health Services.
So far 24 students have taken advantage of the OINK program, Cohen said.
The organization, which was founded in September of 2007 and offers student-taken notes from lectures as well as exam review packets, has increased the number of classes for which it offers notes from 70 to 100 this semester.
Of the more than 4,000 students who have used GWClassNotes, 700 are new to the program this semester. Cohen said he sees the increased business as a testament to the company’s consistency and quality.
“We would rather not carry a class at all than offer mediocre notes for it,” he said.
Some students interviewed said they have used GWClassNotes and found them to be helpful.
“They were helpful because they were basically the same notes I had taken, but GWClassNotes were more concise and well organized,” sophomore Kristin Bevilacqua said.
Sophomore Rachel Primé has used GWClassNotes before.
“Everything is in the order we learned it, so it’s a really good review and memory refresher,” Primé said.
As far as the new OINK program, however, she isn’t so confident it will work.
“Students will definitely feign illness so they can skip class and get free notes,” Primé said. “It’s easy enough to get notes from a friend if you had to miss class.”
Cohen believes it is too early to judge the success of the OINK program, which he started to allow students to focus on getting healthier instead of “stressing out about missing lecture material.”
“We hope that as it is more widely known, we will continue to be able to help out our fellow students who have fallen ill,” he said.
This article appeared in the October 26, 2009 issue of the Hatchet.