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The Quad’ social network site to debut

Sarah Mervosh | Monday, September 22, 2008

This week, a new Web site made exclusively for college students and meant to be an enhancement of college life will be launched midweek said Jason Schutzbank, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of College Tonight Inc.

The site, which was previously called collegetonight.com, will become thequad.com according to co-founders Zach Suchin, President and Chief Exeutive Officer of College Tonight Inc., and Schutzbank.

According to the current Web site, collegetonight.com, the site “promotes actual social interactivity rather than the sedentary lifestyle nearly all ‘social networks’ relegate its users to behind a physical computer screen. It is what social networking should have evolved into by 2008, but has not.”

The two co-founders said The Quad is a service specifically made to make life easier for other college students.

“In conceptualizing all these things, these are all things that I’ve personally gone through and experienced a need for,” said Schutzbank.

Suchin graduated from Emory University in 2006 and Schutzbank will graduate in 2009.

“It is not something that was built by a bunch of 40-year-olds in a room,” Suchin said.

Thequad.com will consist of four main aspects: The Scene, The Shop, Academics and Greek life, he said.

These four aspects are essentially “the four ends of the quad,” said Suchin.

“The reason we call it ‘The Quad’ is because the quad is the heart of the campus at most schools. The quad in this case represents to us the center of college life,” he said.

The Scene will be the social aspect of The Quad, and is what collegetonight.com used to be, said Suchin.

It is a place where students can see what their friends are doing or events that are going on in the area, he said.

The Scene is not meant to replace the popular social networking site, Facebook.com, he said.

“We aren’t na’ve. We don’t think people are going to leave Facebook and come join another site. I wouldn’t do that myself,” said Suchin.

There are problems with Facebook, specifically the Web site’s growth to include members outside of college, he said.

“Facebook has become something that is much bigger and a lot of ways better for the adult, but not necessarily for the college student,” he said.

The Quad will have new features and tools that Facebook doesn’t provide to members, he said.

“Let’s say, you want to know what the specials are at Steve’s Bar and Grill, you could get a text message telling you what it was,” he said.

Junior Sarah Rodts, who had not heard of The Quad, said she feels that the timing of the Web site’s launch is good.

“They’re lucky it’s coming out now because everyone is fed up with Facebook,” she said.

Rodts said she doesn’t like the new Facebook and is interested in “another way to connect with people socially.”

Freshman Bobby Abdo thought that the new Web site might have potential, but that it would have to gear towards Notre Dame.

“If it actually provides a service different from Facebook, more specific to Notre Dame, I’d definitely use it,” he said.

Junior Katie Weber also said that she was fed up with Facebook and that she believes that others are as well.

“I think people will be really receptive to something different,” she said.

Other students, like freshman Kaye Lushutka, said she felt that students wouldn’t want put forth the effort to become familiar with the new Web site.

“I’m already so used to Facebook, so it would be easier to use what you’re familiar with,” she said. “It would be more effort to learn how to use the new system. It would save more time just to use what you already know. You already have a good way to talk to people.”

The academic aspect of the Quad is made to make schoolwork, especially group work, easier for college students said Schutzbank.

For example, he said if four students need to work on a PowerPoint project, they can log onto the academic side of the Quad and work on it together and it will edit in real time.

Group projects aren’t always the easiest thing to do,” said Rodts. “if you can get things done online, that’s awesome.”

The Shop is the retail side of the Web site, whose primary focus is on selling beer pong tables, which are called “quad pong,” said Schutzbank.

“They are pretty durable and you can completely customize them. It is shipped to you within two weeks,” said Schutzbank.

A buyer does not need to be 21 years of age to purchase a table, he said.

“We call them multi-purpose tables so you can use them for anything, but they are regulation size beer pong tables,” said Schutzbank.

Lastly, Greek Life focuses on making it easy to keep business records and create social events for fraternities and sororities, Suchin said.