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In a world that is more connected than ever because of technology, two University of Nebraska-Lincoln students have worked to help connect students across the University of Nebraska system. 

Ethan Dunn, a sophomore political science major, and Summer Liu, a sophmore international business major, co-created LinkNU, a platform on Instagram and Slack that helps students from UNL, the University of Nebraska at Kearney and University of Nebraska at Omaha connect and interact with each other. 

“The idea first came through when we both wanted a more integrated campus network,” Liu said. “We wanted something that connected not just UNL but also UNO and UNK campuses.”

Liu said that it doesn’t include the University of Nebraska Medical Center as the platform is aimed more for undergraduate students and UNMC tends to be more graduate and professional students. 

Dunn and Liu created LinkNU last year while they were members of the Freshman Campus Leadership Associates, which is an organization within the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska that allows freshmen students the opportunity to work on creating personal projects, such as LinkNU. 

Liu said LinkNU was first aimed at transfer students because they see lots of transfer students between the three campuses. They wanted to give transfer students the opportunity to have experiences together so they can bond and continue on with their growth, Liu said. 

Dunn said that one inspiration for this project was the lack of connection with so many students last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Then we started thinking about the lack of connection between students within all the three campuses. So, I think that's kind of what got our idea started,” Dunn said. 

On Oct. 1, LinkNU launched its Slack channel allowing students to directly communicate with others. Dunn said they believe Slack is the best way for people to communicate and connect with one another. 

Within the Slack platform, various channels will be made for different things which will further help students connect with others who have the same interests as them, they said. 

On Instagram, Dunn said they will be having campus updates and other posts for students to see and interact with that should be exciting, helping them get a sense of what is happening on the other campuses. 

The Instagram account is the best option for new students looking to attend one of the NU campuses, Liu said. The Instagram page’s direct messages are open for students to reach out, give suggestions and ask questions. 

Right now the Slack channel is run and moderated by Liu, Dunn, two students from UNO and one student from UNK, Dunn said. 

Dunn said they hope to have future members of FCLA take over the project because that’s where they started the project and they’d like to continue to see FCLA play a role in it. However, there is no concrete plan for LinkNU’s future leadership yet. 

“We would just love for everyone to join our platform and see what it's about,” Liu said. 

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