By Chelsea LoCascio
SaySo, an amalgam of Facebook, LinkedIn and Craigslist, is the potential new go-to app for college students.
The website, which will eventually become an app and expand to other colleges across the country, facilitates the trade of goods and services between students in local areas and contains a comprehensive calendar of events happening on-campus as well as in their local communities.
“I had the idea that everyone has the skills to solve someone else’s problems,” sophomore economics and philosophy double major Michael Julve said. “You just need to find that person. (At first), I didn’t think it was possible to make that work.”
With the help of Raphael Rezkalla, a sophomore electrical engineering major, that idea transformed into SaySo. Together, they enlisted the help of senior mechanical engineering major Luke Capritti and junior mechanical engineering major Jason Palermo to make it a reality.
Available to students at the College starting in mid-April, SaySo has two main features: the marketplace and the board. The marketplace will be one convenient location where students can post about goods they want to buy or sell to their campus community.
“It’s that familiarity. I wouldn’t have a problem going up to any TCNJ student and trading a book with them on campus — I would have a problem going to the middle of Ewing or Trenton, meeting up with somebody and trading a fridge,” Julve said.
According to the SaySo team, the site will ensure convenience and safety not guaranteed on sites like Facebook or Craigslist.
“One of the unique features is that you need an .edu account, so it makes it safer to get on,” Capritti said. “You can only meet at certain times (from 8:00 a.m. to 10 p.m.) and you won’t be able to meet anywhere but on campus (in safe locations like the Brower Student Center or library).”
The marketplace is also for students looking to make some extra money or expand their resume. With different skills or knowledge, students can help each other, such as fix a cracked phone screen, in an easier and cheaper way.
“People who have different skills can post that skill, offer (their) services and build a small business,” Capritti said. The students’ profiles serve as a résumé that builds itself, showing that the student is reliable and in demand through past transactions indicated on their profile.
“Our site has smart features that pick up on what you’re doing and who you’re trading with, and it builds a profile page for you,” Julve said.
Aside from trading goods and offering professional services in the marketplace, the SaySo board will encompass all on-campus events and any relevant off-campus events in one calendar.
“When freshmen are coming in and trying to find something to do, they’ll go to (the board) instead of having to come to the Student Center and find random things (that are) not exactly things you want to know,” Capritti said. “(With the board), it’ll be one centralized location.”
SaySo, which means “the power to choose,” gives students the power to choose the connections they make that will shape their college experience, according to Julve.
The journey to becoming a fully-functioning business has been challenging, but the SaySo team has learned more than they thought possible and had fun doing it. Now they want others to join in on the SaySo experience through beta testing or accounting, computer programming and marketing internship opportunities.
For more details regarding testing or internships, contact Luke Capritti at email@example.com.
“It’s a matter of actually making college a better and easier place for everybody,” Julve said. “If you have any sort of skills, you can make money or build your skills, (and) there’s the seller portion of it. I’m not a big fan of working for people all the time, (but with SaySo,) you can make your own hours. There’s no other freedom like that.”