Dan Adams , now a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity, said he and his friends had trouble figuring out where to go during rush his freshman year.
“We had a map of campus but we didn’t have one for downtown,” Adams said. “We had no idea where we were going.”
Together with the help of fellow Phi Kappa Tau member Brian Gu, Class of 2010, he created “Frat Map,” a free Android application that plots the location of nearly every fraternity recognized by the Interfraternity Council. Delta Lambda Phi and Sigma Lambda Beta fraternities do not appear on the map because neither currently has a house, Adams said.
The app was released on Aug. 17 for Android devices and will be released for Apple products soon through Gu’s app company, Chocolate Chip Apps, Gu said.
“The economy was tough so it was hard finding a job,” Gu said. “I decided I wanted to go my own way and so I started my own app company.”
In addition to offering a guide to fraternity locations, Adams (junior-biology) said Frat Map also affords students the ability to see where friends are “checking in.”
When a student with the app signs on to Facebook and checks into a fraternity, he or she pops up on the map in real time for friends to view, Gu said.
“It will help with rush because the freshmen can see where their friends are at, as well as help them find fraternities without having to wander around asking people,” Gu said.
IFC President Dan Florencio said he thinks the app will be helpful, too.
“It is an interesting app that can hopefully help anybody find the house that they are looking for,” Florencio (senior-philosophy) said.
Gu said they are attempting to improve the app and expand it to other schools with feedback from users.
Jackie Dunfee, advertising director of Chocolate Chip Apps, said Frat Map’s developers are using the Internet and social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, to get the word out about services the app offers.
She said they are hoping that fraternity members at different colleges will see that Penn State is using the app.
It could also help graduates who haven’t been back to State College since their college years, she said.
“I feel it’s definitely big, it is definitely growing,” Adams said. “Hopefully once it becomes big here at Penn State, other schools will want to use it as well.”