Ming Lei poses with his all-in-one app, GoKnights. Photo: Matt Riddell

GoKnights: An App For the Community, by the Community

5 mins read

Have you ever needed a piece of information about Queens College but can’t seem to find it? Maybe you don’t know the building your class is in. Or you want to know about more club events. A new app called GoKnights is here to be your knight in shining armor.

With its black and red flair, GoKnights acts as a portal for students to find essential Queens College information. QC members are able to login into the app as a prospective student, current student, or faculty member. Once a role is chosen, different icons organize the information into categories, such as advising, printing, directory, and the shuttle bus schedule. 

When an icon is selected, users are then able to access all information related to that category and take several actions. Members can book appointments, upload documents for printing, and much more.

Ming Lei, a Master’s student and Computer Science major, is the creator of GoKnights. Inspired by the New Student Orientation, Lei took it upon himself to create a place that stores all of QC’s important information. 

“During the summer break as a new student orientation leader, I recognized a strong demand for a centralized location that offers various campus services and student resources, along with the lack of a well-maintained official Queens College mobile app. Various students have complained to me that Navigate can be cumbersome to use, while the menus of the QC Website are very confusing,” he told The Knight News

With the help of various friends and QC staff, Lei got to work. 

He used their feedback and advice to optimize his project. This has led to the AI chatbot feature, where students can ask questions to find the information they need. Additionally, the app can be translated into multiple languages such as simplified Chinese, Hindi, and Hebrew.

Although he has created many projects during his time as a computer science major, GoKnights is his first app to go live. “A pivotal aspect of its development was a strong commitment to privacy, ensuring no unnecessary data retention, alongside making the app open source to encourage community collaboration and transparency,” he said. “This strategy not only facilitated a secure and user-centric experience but also leveraged collective expertise to refine and enhance the app, aligning with the goal of providing a valuable resource for students, faculty, and staff.” 

Lei also acknowledges just how much help he had in this process. He said, “I would like to especially express my appreciation to Associate Provost for Innovation and Student Success Dr. Nathalia Holtzman on the recommendation of adding transfer student support, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Jennifer Jarvis on the collaboration with campus clubs and organizations including the Student Association to increase student engagement, and Computer Science Professor Dr. Jonathan Gryak for the guidance on making the ChatGPT-style college chatbot possible.” 

“I mostly use the GoKnights app to access various resources that before would take extra steps to access. For example, I’ve used the app to easily print documents,” sophomore Sulaiman Alam told The Knight News. “As well as finding the calendar so I know which days college is closed and using this, I’ve been able to adjust my own schedule accordingly.” 

One feature Alam appreciates is the app’s accessibility. “I know a lot of students who always complain that they don’t know where to find many things or resources, and this app solves this problem. Allowing students to learn more about what Queens College has to offer as well as easily getting help when necessary,” he said.

Arina Logosh, a first semester graduate student, agrees with the sentiment. She finds that the app is “intuitive and user friendly.” Like Alam, she finds the inclusion of QC’s school calendar to be extremely helpful. 

“The app provides all the essential information regarding Queens College through an intuitive and user-friendly format. All tabs are appropriately labeled and take the user directly to the desired webpage. It is much more efficient than searching for everything online,” she told The Knight News.

The GoKnights App is available for both Android and Apple users.

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