Hoya Hub blog on life in Georgetown and D.C. to launch Nov. 4
If Vox Populi doesn’t quite fill all your blogging desires, on Nov. 4 students will see one more website popping up on laptops in lecture halls.
That day will mark the launch of Hoya Hub, a new website covering all aspects of the college experience, developed by Felipe Ernst (MSB ‘14). The website has been in development since January, when Ernst came up with the idea in collaboration with his brother, Alejandro, a junior in high school. As a D.C. local, Ernst felt most Georgetown students lacked a complete picture of what the University and city have to offer.
“I was born and raised in the D.C. area, and it seemed as if there was a lack of information that Georgetown students knew about the area,” Ernst said. “The point is to acquaint all incoming and current students with a better sense of information on all important categories that they’ll need to survive.”
The version of the site that will launch on Sunday will have three categories—education, social, and sports—and students will be able to create an account by signing in with their Georgetown email address. Ernst has plans for six other categories: marketplace, housing, food, news, services, and health, which will hopefully be up and running by January of 2013.
“We’re trying to accomplish this by finding certain info on the market and then have user-generated content to help enrich the site,” explained Ernst.
The education category will contain information about professors, clubs, classes, as well as resources such as tutoring. It will include professor rankings that will be more accurate and consistent than those from “Rate My Professor,” as it will specifically target Georgetown professors. Students will also be able to comment on their experiences in classes.
The social portion of the website will have information on events going on both around Georgetown and DC as well as places to go around the city.
“[There will be a] calendar of everything coming up, as well as a ranking system of bars and clubs so students can get a better idea of bars outside of what is in immediate vicinity,” Ernst said. “Basically it’s to open up the college experience to numerous different aspects of D.C. because D.C. has a lot to offer and most students don’t really branch out and visit things.”
The sports category will contain information both about Georgetown sports as well as local professional teams such as the Redskins, Nationals, and Capitals.
Hoya Hub’s inclusion of information beyond simply education is what sets it apart from Georgetown’s website. In addition, Hoya Hub allows for more student interaction and discussion.
“I feel like our site shows not the perspective of Georgetown but the perspective of a student who realizes all the unmet needs he has and this is his attempt to tackle those needs,” said Ernst.
While at first glance, Ernst’s website may seem similar to the Corp’s Hilltop Hub, both Ernst and Keaton Bedell (COL ‘13), a developer of Hilltop Hub, agree that the two sites are quite different.
“[Ernst’s] website is more D.C.-based and has more created content, while there’s no created content for us, it’s just an aggregation of campus news sources,” Bedell said. “[Hoya Hub] is an exciting venture and we support any student-started venture on campus.”
Along with his brother, other members of the venture include Vince Korth (MSB ’14) as Vice President of Marketing, Charles Rice (SFS ’14) as Head Editor, Danny Lohrfink (MSB ’14) as Vice President of Operations, Brian Saslow (MSB ’15) as Vice President of Human Resources, and Michael Perrenoud, a senior program analyst for GEICO, as Chief Technology Officer.
The team hopes that by launching the website on Nov. 4, the day before pre-registration begins, students will start utilizing the website for its professor rankings. They plan to table in Red Square to publicize the venture as well as to have promotional events under the social category.
Ernst hopes that Hoya Hub will be enough of a success that they can expand to other campuses under the brand name College Hub. So far, the project has been funded mostly from Ernst’s own pocket, but he has begun to search for investors who would be willing to contribute funds.
Although the process can be “tedious and slow” at times, Ernst thinks that if executed right, the website could “be a hit,” as it will provide students with a wealth of information that they would otherwise have to use multiple websites and sources to access.
“We’re breaking down the college experience into important categories that each student faces,” Ernst said. “We provide a hub of important information for students.”