The McMaster Student Union (MSU) is introducing a new classified advertisement service designed specifically for students. MACSList is now available on the MSU website for students to advertise goods and services in and around the McMaster community.
The service, launched this August, is part of the MSU’s effort to connect with students through a wider range of new media platforms.
The advertisement service is currently in a trial stage and is open for anyone to access, but “when it is fully operational, it will be [accessible only to McMaster students],” according to MSU general manager John McGowan.
This, he says, will allow students to find and post advertisements specifically for them, instead of searching through larger, general-interest classified advertising websites such as Craigslist. The student-focused classifieds forum is similar to the classified service available on the student-run website MacInsiders, but the two sites are not affiliated or co-ordinated, noted McGowan.
Originally planned last year under former MSU president Mary Koziol’s student government, MACSList was designed as a result of changing trends in the way that McMaster students buy and sell goods.
“We [have tried to provide] a physical market to trade courseware through the bookstore,” said McGowan, “but some of the feedback we got from students was that it’s kind of passé. Many more students buy and sell either online or through peer-to-peer selling, so we’ve tried to create another tool to provide to students for selling books and other items.”
The MSU plans to make MACSList part of a network of new services meant to connect students with each other and the University though online and digital media. “We would like to have as many tools as possible on our website in order to bring in McMaster students [to connect with each other] on all aspects of the student experience outside the classroom,” said McGowan.
One of these tools is “My Ideas,” an online forum on the MSU website where students can provide feedback, suggestions or concerns about the student union’s services.
It is evident that MACSList is in its developmental stage. It currently has only a handful of advertisements despite its prominent display on the MSU website.
This is set to change in January 2012, however, when widespread promotions for the service will begin. The MSU will also begin promoting other University services through a range of new media, including advertising on LCD screens around campus.
“We are trying to reach [students] through as many means as possible,” said McGowan.
Most of these new services and technologies offered by the MSU are only emerging now, and it remains to be seen how exactly they will impact student life.
It is up to McMaster students to decide if and how MACSList and the MSU’s other services will be used.