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Miguel Gomez, creator and founder of, sits with his website team.

New website aims to connect Ohio University students through chatrooms

A new website promises closer relationships between cultural and social groups on campus.

Miguel Gomez, vice president of the International Student Union at Ohio University, spent the summer trying to come up with a way to bring students from all backgrounds together through technology., a website Gomez designed, aims to create an easier way for international students, activists, Greek life members, athletes and art students, who may not regularly interact, to communicate. 

The site launched Oct. 5 and Gomez said there are 162 users with about 2,600 page views per week as of press time. The only community live on uniiculture is international, but Gomez said it will eventually have other community chatrooms, such as the prospective activist chatroom, live in November. Only OU students may sign up and login to the website, where they can explore different chatrooms by country.

“If there is a question someone has about say the country Ghana, and you want to know from someone from Ghana, there are students here that can answer it through the site,” Gomez, a senior studying astrophysics, said. “One of the main reasons I created this site is I wanted to improve the communication between the international and domestic students.”

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The website states that students can find tutors, learn about study abroad experiences and look up international events on campus.

Gomez said once students find their niches, the chances are pretty slim in branching out, seeing the Facebook event or tweet and going to events outside their groups.

“Whenever there is an international related event, there’s a low turnout of domestic students,” Gomez said. “The solution is the user experience. Depending on the user, whatever he wants to search, he’ll instantly find all of the information that he’ll need.”

Gomez’s team consists of five people, and Max Camp, the public relations coordinator, said he works out ways to promote the site, but also how uniiculture can possibly expand to other schools.

"Right now, the website is only available to OU students,” Camp, a senior studying physics and economics, said. “(Gomez would) like to expand to users to University of Iowa.”

Gomez said the University of Iowa has about 11 percent international students compared to 7.8 percent at OU in 2014, according to the Office of Institutional Research.

Students who sign up through their OU email are anonymous when it comes to posting comments and questions in the chatrooms, but Gomez said he is not concerned about trolls or malicious comments.

“If someone is harassing someone or threatening someone, then we’ll terminate that account and send that information to the university,” Gomez said. “That person has that email, so we can just give that out to the university if there’s a serious situation. The most important thing about this is you have the chance to speak your mind anonymously.”

After the site’s launch, Gomez said he is trying to improve the homepage to make the interface more like Reddit so students can immediately see the commenting and activity immediately when entering the site.

Hunter Lowy, a sophomore studying music production, said uniiculture would be a good way to connect with different groups on campus such as international students or sororities.

“Every group has a different personality, and it would be nice to know if I could connect with different ones that I normally wouldn’t be with,” she said. “It would be nice to look past the stereotypes.”


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