It’s Hip to be (Four)Square

This month, Pace becomes the new kid on the block in Foursquare—and one of only 20 universities in the country to pilot this new mobile and social networking application.

Imagine you’re a Pace student or faculty on a study abroad trip. You land at the airport and desperately try to translate the signs for food, transit, and lodging, all while watching your luggage and valuables. Then you turn on your phone and receive a welcome tip from Pace along with advice on local buses, affordable rooms, and things to see during your stay.

Welcome to just one of the many functions that Foursquare, a mobile application that makes locations easier and more interesting to explore, can provide.

Launching at the end of January, Pace will be one of only 20 universities in the nation to pilot a new program through Foursquare that will enhance the college experience for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Pace is working closely with Foursquare to create a Pace University brand page and claim all venues on our campuses and centers (such as the Schimmel Theater, Aloysia Hall, and the Choate House).  Followers of the Pace Foursquare site can also receive tips from Pace community members who have checked in at off-campus venues, such as the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, or even London’s Heathrow airport.

Gisela Tirado-Tewes, Pace’s Director of Online Communications who initiated and developed the program for the University hopes Foursquare’s functions will encourage prospective students to explore the campus through event listings, local pride points and tips, and special discounts; facilitate student-faculty interaction, especially at events and conferences; and encourage the community to take advantage of off-campus listings and promotions. “It’s a great way to build a community, keep everyone informed, and encourage school spirit,” says Tirado-Tewes.

How did Pace end up garnering a spot in this exciting new pilot program? Appropriately for Foursquare, it was all about being at the right place at the right time.

Tirado-Tewes was using Foursquare herself to find discounts at a local mall when it occurred to her that Pace could be offering its students and faculty similar advantages.  “I checked in on Foursquare, and realized that I wanted something just like this for Pace,” says Tirado-Tewes. “I went back and called them and was told it was perfect timing, because Foursquare was just about to launch a new program for universities. They said they didn’t plan on working with schools as small as us, but because of our great locations in the New York Metropolitan Area, we were accepted into the program.”