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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Students make the grade with ClusterFlunk


Courtesy of Clusterflunk

A new website that connects students within a class is inviting UA students to join this semester.
Two former University of Iowa students, AJ Nelson and Joe Dallago, created ClusterFlunk two semesters ago. ClusterFlunk is a site that gives classmates the opportunity to communicate with each other by allowing them to post class notes, materials or questions. Students can choose whether or not to remain anonymous on the site.
ClusterFlun was originally intended for University of Iowa students to have the opportunity to reach out to each other in classes with more than 400 students.
“My buddy was in a class of over 400 students and had one question the night before a test,” Nelson said. “He tried emailing a teacher’s assistant, who didn’t respond. He also sat at the library the night before, not having a way to talk to any of his classmates just to ask a simple question.”
Nelson said with social media apps such as Snapchat, Facebook or Twitter, it should be simple to talk to your classmates.
“Social resources were being wasted,” he said.
Jenna Malkin, a pre-business freshman, said that it is difficult to connect with other students in larger classes.
“If you don’t know anyone in your classes beforehand, then you’re lucky if by the end of the semester, you start talking to anybody,” Malkin said.
Nelson said he does not believe use of the site is cheating.
Matthew Sample, an undeclared freshman, uses similar websites and said he believes the use of resources to aid students, like ClusterFlunk, is not violating academic integrity.
“It isn’t cheating; it’s being resourceful,” Sample said. “It doesn’t negatively affect anyone in anyway.”
ClusterFlunk had about 50 percent of Iowa’s student population logged on, and not one case of plagiarism or cheating, according to Nelson.
After reaching more than 10,000 students at Iowa, this is ClusterFlunk’s first semester launching at other schools. The UA is one of around 50 schools across the nation that have been added to the ClusterFlunk site this past semester. Nelson said they hope to reach 5,000 to 10,000 users at the UA.
“We’re excited to be in Arizona. We choose these new schools for specific reasons,” Nelson said, “schools with similar liberal culture like the University of Iowa.”
Since they have been out of school, Nelson and Dallago have been able to focus on building their company in hopes that they could buy themselves out in the near future.
“ClusterFlunk will always be free,” Nelson said. “We’re living off [of] investments, and hopefully when we get enough users, we’ll buy out.”

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