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Minga introduction fosters school spirit

Student opening up the Minga App (Photo: Logan Cheriff, The Puma Prensa)

By Logan Cheriff, staff writer

During the first week of the 2022-2023 school year, the Minga app was announced as an all-encompassing virtual platform meant to replace traditional means of school event notifications, announcements, and the physical identification card. 

The Minga app has a wide range of features such as virtual polls that allow students to vote on school-related topics such as “who is the best duo” or “who’s going to win the battle of the classes.” Students can win points by filling out these polls and checking in at school events. If a student goes to a sporting event, dance, or play, the staff or teacher working the event can scan a barcode on the student’s virtual ID card that verifies their attendance. The points are awarded in the app and added to that student’s class tally. The freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors are competing against one another to see which grade level can rack up the most Minga points. At the end of the year, a prize will be awarded to the class with the most points. Minga is intended to serve as a way to amp up school spirit and keep the student body more informed on the goings-on of Carrillo. So far the app has been a huge success and has received a lot of positive feedback from the student body. As of October 9th the combined classes have a total over 69,000 Minga points, and a live photo gallery that allows students to upload pictures hovering at around 460 photos. 

Many students have commented on the app’s overwhelming convenience and entertainment factor. “Minga is pretty great…I found a lot of the time the school website calendar was never updated, so I was trying to find the date for something specific and it just wasn’t there, so Minga is good for that,” said Senior Basil Weber.

All this buzz raises important questions about the new virtual IDs. A barcode scan on an app is a big change from the traditional physical ID card. Senior Finn Robertson said,“I only really use it to take out my ID card.” When asked if the Minga app made him more informed he noted that he thinks “it’s about the same.” He believes that since “everything is highly publicized on Carillo Live,” his awareness “hasn’t changed much.” In regards to his physical ID, Robertson mentioned that he “literally never” uses his ID as a form of identification, which prompts questions about the effectiveness of school IDs in the first place, virtual or not. Are they really a necessary tool for everyday life around campus and outside of school for the average student at Maria Carillo? Freshman Liam Murray says he’s heard of the Minga app but doesn’t have it. He’s confident he can get away with just his ID number because he hasn’t gone to any school events. “For some things I have to tell them my student ID number but I just have them look that up,” he said. The stand alone ID number is used for checking books out of the library, filling out homework assignments, or signing school related documents. 

Some people are more torn and don’t know what to think about the virtual ID situation. Senior Sean Nash doesn’t know how to feel about virtual IDs. “I’ve always had a physical ID so I feel like it’s something new. It’s kind of nice because I don’t have to keep one extra card in my wallet,” Nash said. He added that before he had a driver’s license he would carry around his student ID with him because “it was the only ID that I had.” He doesn’t think that a virtual ID is a good enough form of identification outside of school. “Real school cards might hold more legitimacy. My driver’s license isn’t virtual,” Nash said. For people who need identification outside of school a physical thing is better.” 

While some stand by Minga and its accessibility and easy access, others are a little more skeptical, and some seem to question the necessity of an ID card at all if an ID number works just as well in so many situations. In the coming months, opinions might change as we see how the Minga app plays out beyond the first quarter.

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