Frank Barnes: Bringing DownToDash to Stony Brook

Name: Frank Barnes III

Year: Junior

Major: Health Science

Hometown: Montclair, New Jersey

What is the purpose of the DownToDash App and why should Seawolves pay attention to it? 

Frank: "The purpose of the DownToDash app is to connect college students based on their similar interests and activities. This app is already being used at NYIT, UPenn, and NYU among a few of the universities that it has been making waves. Using DownToDash, students are on a closed network (sign up with university email only), and can post plans or browse through other students plans to connect over sports, arts, theater, film, working out, and more! The app also has an events section where university clubs and student bodies like fraternities, sororities and campus housing groups can post events. DownToDash aims to use technology to connect campuses and create new experiences for students by being an easy platform for them to interact. Whether its sports like Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball or Badminton, you are always looking for other players to play these games with. Usually, sports clubs and societies have teams and other students have to be of a certain level to play with them. These games run on timings decided by intramural teams and clubs. What if you want to play at another time? What if your friends are busy? DownToDash helps you solve this problem and connects you to other students to 'get social- get active- get going.'  

Students can also make larger group plans using the app, to meet up at concerts or going into New York City. Seawolves should pay attention to DownToDash because the app provides a means to be less socially isolated. Campus Connect events from Stony Brook Student Life (weekday and weekend editions) post numerous events each week. However, students may feel uncompelled to attend depending on whether their friends are willing to take partake in the event/activity. Our campus location can have students feeling distant from off-campus accessibility. There is quite a lot to do on campus when students know what's available are willing to attend. For example, Using DownToDash during summer class sessions will help students find fellow friends and classmates on campus that they don’t realize are around to meet up." 

How did you get involved with the DownToDash?

Frank: "I had been looking for a way to expand my engagement with apps and meaningful spotlighting of activities towards student involvement. I stumbled upon DownToDash, which intrigued me because it appealed to my interests of campus connection, schedule flexibility, and combating my own introverted personality." 

What do you hope the app will achieve on campus by the time you graduate? 

Frank: "I hope that the app will minimize social inactivity on campus, and lead to students feeling more comfortable branching out among their fellow Seawolves and other college students throughout New York. Club and university-sponsored events may experience lower attendee numbers than anticipated, due to a lack of visibility in promotion or disinterest among groups of students. I’m hoping that the DownToDash app encourages individuals to still attend and enjoy such events and activities, and allow themselves to engage with other students to develop friendships that make it all the more fun." 

Have you learned anything about yourself from your work with DownToDash? 

Frank: "Yes, I have learned that I enjoy being able to connect students to events and fun activities that would interest them. I often share event pages on Facebook from fellow friends, classmates, and from the university about various upcoming events for students to attend and get involved with. Seeing that people are willing to get out of their dorm rooms and engage with various friends, when presented with a worthwhile activity, it is joyful to jumpstart fun plans in the works, from simply letting people know what is available around them." 

What advice would you give to your freshman self? 

Frank: "Advice that I would give to my freshman self would be to go to more events, even if it seems unlike my interests or familiarity. I have found surprising enjoyment from attending showcases in the SAC ballroom, Staller performances, workshops to learn/explore a new skill, or even fitness events at the Recreation Center that I’ve attended this year that would’ve been great to experience earlier on as well. There is quite a lot to do around campus with friends, and especially on your own when stepping outside one’s comfort zone." 

Where can students find DownToDash? 

Frank: "DownToDash is free to download in the Apple App store (iPhone IOS) and the Google Play (Android) app store!" 

For more info about DownToDash click here

Email at [email protected] for more details on DownToDash marketing and tech internships.