A team of four computer science majors is creating ZigZaga, a sustainable app that allows Gonzaga students and alumni to sell, buy and trade items.
The four seniors—Kyle Handy, Trenton Miller, Lucas Orlita and Jake Quiring are creating the app for their senior design project in computer science. Miller said Handy and Quiring came up with the idea last summer.
Although there appear to be many similarities between ZigZaga and the “Free & For Sale” page on Facebook, the two organizations are not related. ZigZaga is only for GU students or alumni, and the app is supported by GU’s server infrastructure.
“[ZigZaga] is purely a singular app built for trade on campus,” Miller said in an email. “We hope to make trading more secure by guaranteeing that other users are Gonzaga students or alumni. We require that you use your Blackboard credentials to log in to the app itself.”
The app is like a Craigslist for GU students, according to Handy. After users log in to the app using GU credentials, they will be asked to provide contact information, which will then be used to contact sellers regarding posts. Users have the opportunity to act as a seller or as a buyer.
Sellers can create posts within different categories, providing information about the item like price, description and pictures. Sellers choose whether they would like to be contacted via phone, text or email about the post.
Buyers are able to view posts and run searches based on price constraints, keywords and categories. Posts can be viewed in greater detail, and buyers are able to contact sellers directly from the post. Buyers and sellers can then coordinate meeting times and places.
One of the categories included in the ZigZaga app is “Ride Shares and Services,” which allows GU students to coordinate rides, creating a sustainable element to the app.
“[We were] looking for a way the Gonzaga community could easily eliminate waste by redistributing items in a safe way, while making some money in the process,” Quiring said in an email.
After four years of accumulating college-related items, the four seniors wanted to create an app that had a sustainability aspect to it.
“Now that we are seniors here at the university, we’ve picked up on the pattern of collecting and discarding items that fall under the ‘college’ category,” Handy said in an email. “We want these items to remain within the Gonzaga community via a trickle-down effect that our application will promote.”
The app is sponsored by GU’s Office of Sustainability and will feature recent tweets from the Office of Sustainability’s Twitter feed.
“We are primarily aiming to increase Gonzaga’s sustainability by creating an easy way for students to pass on things typical to the college lifestyle rather than throwing them away or buying them new,” Miller said.
According to its website, GU has recently made a commitment to become a more sustainable campus and recognizes “its solemn responsibility to safeguard the integrity of our natural world for present and future generations and is committed to being a leader in responsible environmental stewardship.” There are a number of operations and student projects dedicated to sustainability. In August, GU hired its first director of sustainability, Jim Simon.
“In my view, ZigZaga will give students, faculty and staff another opportunity to make sustainability choices at Gonzaga University by extending the life of personal property through reuse and offering a digital ride board in the palm of a user’s hand,” Simon said in an email. “Sustainability is about making choices for the long term, practicing innovation and looking at the issue our society faces in a different way. An app like ZigZaga can encourage sustainable behavior, creating a better Gonzaga, and a better planet.”
ZigZaga has not yet been released, but the creators expect the app to be available for free download in the coming weeks in the Apple App Store.