Friday, September 4, 2015

Social Media Voices

One of the things social media has given students specifically is a voice within their university. Many student bodies have developed hashtags in order to catch the attention of faculty and administration. Whether it involves living conditions, school closings or just general information, social media, especially Twitter, allows students to communicate with each other and the faculty and administration to push for changes.

One example of this is a few years ago here at Ohio Northern University the school sent out an email to the student body giving tips on how to stay warm in the winter. The forecast was for -30 degree wind chill so the University thought it would be appropriate to help the students stay warm. There was also a frostbite warning if you were outside more than 10 minutes. The University came up with #PolarBearUp to try and inspire students and be "hip". Needless to say the students were not amused. They immediately took to Twitter and Facebook and used the hashtag to explain that a -30 degree windchill was unacceptable walking conditions. Many students had a 15-20 minute walk to class and the 10 minute frostbite warning concerned them. Memes were created as the students gained more momentum. Many sarcastic jokes were made as the students attempted to get their frustration and concern across to the faculty and administration. After four hours the students were still taking Twitter by storm. Eventually the University did decide to cancel classes for the next day and the students rejoiced.

Another example of students using Twitter and social media to communicate with faculty is Howard University. The students were concerned about conditions and the tuition they were paying. They created #TakeBackHU to express their concern to the administration. Alumni also put in their opinions saying that they experienced many of the same issues. The president finally responded that he was going to work to fix many of the problems. Hopefully he follows through on his word.

1 comment:

  1. Rachel,

    I remember when this e-mail came out during my freshman year at Ohio Northern University (ONU). My friends and I laughed and took part in expressing our frustration with the weather as well. We still talk about this incident whenever is begins to get cold outside. In addition, the students made a large impact in the Twitter world. When I participated in Welcome Weekend this year, the leader of Play Fair knew about this incident because of the hashtag we used. She commented on the jokes and memes made, and supported our decision to take a stand. This just proves that social media allows people to have a voice. ONU is not a very large campus, and this shows that we can take a stand when needed.