Indiana Daily Student

IU student helps launch Poppin, an app addressing safety concerns at college parties

Poppin, an app launched in part by an IU freshman, is seen on a phone Oct. 24, 2021. The app aims to make parties safer by providing a system to RSVP for events and report any incidents to a party's host.
Poppin, an app launched in part by an IU freshman, is seen on a phone Oct. 24, 2021. The app aims to make parties safer by providing a system to RSVP for events and report any incidents to a party's host.

Poppin is a new way to invite and attend parties in a simple and safer way on a phone.

The iOS app launched in June 2021 and is a startup company made by a group of high school and college students. Currently, students at IU, UCLA, USC, Yale and Babson College can download the app.

Party hosts who download the app can manage guest lists, send invites, charge for entry, share media from the event and log the people who attended. Partygoers can use the app to find events using a filter and RSVP to events they want to attend.

The filter feature allows guests to choose parties by distance, location and boy-girl ratio. People can also scroll through the guest list to see if their friends are attending and the host’s previous events. Guests can also share party information with other Poppin users.

Miguel C. Dickenson, Poppin chief product and marketing officer, said their team created the technology to do good.

Victims of sexual assault or harassment can use reporting features on the app or inform the host of any incidents. Dickenson said all app events require RSVPs with public profiles.

These anonymous reports go to the Poppin team, the university’s student health and wellness center and campus police. The offender’s account will be flagged and other app users see this indicator on the guest list when RSVPing, Dickenson said.

“This level of accountability has never existed in the college-party ecosystem, where guys have been able to get away with their crimes scot-free for decades,” Dickenson said.

IU Freshman Rishab Kalra, a Poppin marketing department member, said the app works to hold attendees accountable and prevent offenders from repeating actions in a quick and comprehensible manner. The team felt motivated to make a technology-based solution to address safety and comfort at college parties.

Both Dickenson and Kalra said they are passionate about addressing safety concerns in partying in a college atmosphere. Through the launch, Kalra said the app is inclusive and raises awareness about the campus social scene.

In the upcoming months, the app developers plan to partner with inter-fraternity councils and the secret societies at Yale. This collaboration will result in an alert system with a chosen trusted contact via voice activation as well as an integrated payment option to increase efficiency and scalability at fundraising parties.

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