Anneli Kanerva—Staff Writer
Last weekend, six underclassmen girls from West Hall were caught running a new app called Labyrinth to deliver food and other products to students in North and East Hall after open hours.
The app functions in a way similar to other popular food delivery apps such as Uber Eats, Grubhub and Postmates. To get food or other products delivered, the customer would download the free app, place their order in the app and finally pay for both their order and the delivery fee. The major differences between Labyrinth and other delivery apps is that it delivers exclusively to Dordt students in West, North and East halls and only accepts orders from 5 PM to 2 AM.
The students were caught when security cameras captured their activities in the steam tunnels. The group had been doing business for months when their looping software cut out and the group was visible on the security cameras. The Dordt maintenance crew speculates that the flooding in West Hall’s basement a little over a week ago may have interfered with the equipment they were using to loop the cameras.
The students created the app when they realized that no major delivery apps cater to the Sioux Center community or, more specifically, to Dordt students. The girls invested their own money to create the Labyrinth app and then selected trusted friends to work as deliverers.
The app delivers everything from McDonalds and school supplies from Walmart to Fruited Plain coffee. The app allows users to select what they want from a variety of locations and then give specifics about their order if necessary. Labyrinth delivers within the hour and allows customers to buy the small items they need without having to go to the store or wait for their order to be shipped to them.
“We were just filling a need,” said Skylar Macon, sophomore and creator of the app. “Sometimes people miss a meal at the cafeteria or need school supplies or something small from a store in town, so we go pick up whatever they need.”
The six girls discovered the steam tunnels while working on campus over the summer. The group explored campus during their free time and eventually stumbled upon an entrance to the steam tunnels which connect various residence halls together. After further exploration, they quickly discovered routes between all three of the residence halls on the west side of campus. The girls decided that this was an advantage they had to use and devised a plan to launch Labyrinth in the Fall 2017 semester.
Each of the organizers has been contacted for disciplinary action by the school but it seems that there will be very few consequences for the group. After a meeting to discuss disciplinary actions, Dordt’s disciplinary committee decided that they could not punish the group for such an act of ingenuity and entrepreneurship. The group was let off with a warning, under the agreement that they would discontinue the app and end their delivery services permanently.
Sophomore Lynette Hanson says that she has no regrets about her participation in the group. “I was the most tech savvy in the group, so I was in charge of creating the app and looping the security cameras,” she said. “I am so glad I helped, not only because we got a ton of cash but also because I have something great to put on my résumé now.”