Improving GET app will help freshmen adapt to the meal plan

When freshmen and transfers arrive on campus, they are educated about resources ranging from academic advisers to financial aid. Students also learn about the GET app – which maps out GWorld vendors on and around campus – but it is not always the most reliable resource.

The GET app was presented during New Student Orientation as an easy way to learn more about the different dining options without walking around to different GWorld restaurants. But the app is largely disorganized and out of date, listing restaurants that do not accept GWorld and providing few details about the types of foods offered at each vendor.

Students use the app to find new restaurants on GWorld, but it has proved to be a difficult way to navigate the meal plan. Updating the app is an easy fix and would allow students – especially freshmen who are adjusting to the meal plan – to find different types of food to buy off GWorld. The University should reconstruct the app to include updated information, categories of restaurants and a section of the app for providing feedback to ensure that students can rely on the app to find and purchase food.

The names of restaurants are not organized alphabetically, by location or by food type. I have wasted time scrolling through dining options to find certain vendors because the app does not list the names of restaurants alphabetically by name. The app also offers no descriptions of the types of food served at different vendors, forcing me to conduct my own research on unfamiliar vendors.

Some information on the GET app is also inaccurate or missing. For example, Chipotle is not listed on the GET app. A Chipotle location on M Street, a 20-minute walk away from Thurston Hall, is listed on the app but does not accept dining dollars. Flower Child, which was added to GWorld earlier this year, does not include a location on the app, forcing students to revert back to the internet to find out where to go. On the other hand, restaurants like Kaz Sushi are included in GWorld dining options but not listed on the GET app. The lack of accurate information leaves freshmen unaware of which vendors not included on the app accept GWorld.

Officials could model the GET app off of other food delivery apps like Uber Eats or DoorDash. The GET app includes an “order” button for food delivery, but the app does not link to the restaurants’ websites or allow students to order food from restaurants that do not deliver. Most food delivery apps also provide descriptions of the types of food available at their locations and categorize restaurants by food type, and the GET app should do the same.

Updating the app to align with apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash would help students sift through GWorld vendors. Officials could add links to restaurants’ websites through the app, allowing students direct access to the websites. GW should also include descriptions of the restaurants so students have a better idea of the type of food they may order.

The University should also solicit feedback from students within the app so officials can better field issues with the resource. The app could include a button that allows students to submit issues they experienced while using the app or advice on ways to improve the app. Freshmen would benefit from this tab because they are using the app for the first time and could find issues right off the bat.

The GET app is creating problems instead of solving them, leaving new students frustrated with a lack of direction in the meal plan. The app should be overhauled so students can easily find and order from GWorld restaurants. If the University wants the GET app to help freshmen adjust to campus and navigate food options, it needs to ensure the app is accessible.

Jane Cameron, a freshman majoring in journalism and mass communication, is an opinions writer.

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