by Katie Munroe, Career Services
Social media is everywhere allowing us to connect in seemingly infinite ways. Since its debut, social media has rapidly progressed suggesting that it will only get bigger and that it is here to stay. Such is the case with its presence on campus. In response, student affairs colleagues came together this afternoon to talk about social media at Bridgewater State University. Under the leadership of Ed Cabellon, the student affairs department has formed a Social Media Committee to create guidelines and a centralized process for the effective use of social media at BSU. This larger committee is broken into three subcommittees focusing on guideline development, training and learning outcomes, and assessment.
At this point in the game, the committees have developed guidelines and recommendations for the use of social media which cover user responsibility, confidentiality, and audience consideration. The assessment group has surveyed departments to determine who is and is not using social media and to inform future training and resources. And last but not least, the training and learning outcomes group has benchmarked national resources and developed a shell for the social media handbook. This handbook will help us use social media effectively in our respective departments and as a division. Once the handbook is fully formed, we will reach out to external reviewers for objective feedback and move forward in training students, faculty, and staff who show interest.
All of this progress made for a productive discussion amongst colleagues today. At the core of the conversation was linking social media to student learning outcomes; a priority for student affairs professionals. Moving forward, it is critical that we assess student consumption and production of social media and determine how to create meaningful connections with students. The current assessments show that are 54.5% of student affairs offices on campus are using social media but 77.6% of respondents feel they have not been properly trained. This may deter people from trusting the “good word” about social media. However, the eventual shift in paradigm will help support this type of engagement as “developmental” more so than just “social” and that is a big accomplishment.
We recognize that social media is always changing and with that in mind we plan to create collaborative user groups to discuss progress and keep up to speed with change. The Student Affairs Social Media Committee welcomes questions and feedback on our current projects and looks forward to making progress this summer. For a link to the live Student Affairs Social Media Handbook, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Social Media Committee Members