Kaitlyn Hall and Lacey Longpre
Pierce College Puyallup is exploding with social media and opportunities for students to connect with each other and their college.
Pierce College District, Puyallup campus Office of Student Life, college educators and several clubs use social media to promote and publicize their organizations, as well as campus events and important academic dates.
Lori Goodwin, Pierce College social media manager, and Karen Taylor, part-time marketing and writing specialist, work together on expanding the presence of the college on social media.
Goodwin’s primary goal is to develop social media further as an effective resource for students; she hopes to foster students’ involvement at Pierce College.
“It’s such a wonderful platform to reach students,” Goodwin said. “It allows students easy access to information.”
Taylor notes that social media is a tool that should be used to benefit students.
“I think the biggest thing is to be a resource for students and not be a self-promoting medium,” Taylor said.
Pierce College has accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Vine and Instagram.
Facebook and Twitter are the most developed and well-used social media, but Goodwin and Taylor hope to begin developing their other media to promote the college and its events. By using a variety of platforms, they hope to have the potential to reach most of the demographics at the college.
Both also use accounts to post relevant information about school events hosted by the Office of Student Life. Their posts intend to promote events to a larger group of students and community members.
“When we put it out there, as the main school page, it helps too,” Goodwin said.
To keep each social medium up-to-date, they visit many bulletin boards and posters on campus that advertise important dates, events and opportunities.
The social media platforms maintained also are a way for students to ask questions. After finding the correct information or department, Goodwin and Taylor respond with the answer. Sometimes, students use the college’s social media pages to come together and solve problems.
Goodwin and Taylor said that most questions asked regard financial aid and grades.
“We want to make it more visible and out there more,” Goodwin said.
Taylor agreed, adding the quick reception social media provides.
“It’s immediate,” Taylor said, “and a much quicker way to get information.”
Taylor encouraged students to voice their thoughts about what they would like to see in Pierce College’s social media.
“Ideas are always welcomed,” Taylor said, “because it’s for them (the students).”
Beyond the Pierce College District, the Puyallup campus Office of Student Life hosts Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts that act as informational and communications outlets for students.
Public Relations Senator Andrew Lake said social media is a way to help students feel comfortable and get quick updates about what’s happening on campus.
“We try to keep it dynamic,” Lake said, “so students can get the newest information.”
Lake said Facebook is the main source of social media the Office of Student Life uses. It provides students with notices on upcoming events as well as posting about the Raiders photo contests.
Although Lake mentioned that the Twitter and Instagram were not as heavily used last quarter, he has established goals to change this. He said he wants to have the Twitter be based on an interactive level where students have live tweets about their opinions on events. Instagram will be for pictures of events and information about activities as they occur.
Lake also said he wants more sporadic contests to Facebook for students who like their pages. He said the increase from 180 likes to 455 likes since the start of the quarter is a great accomplishment.
“I feel like we’ve gained momentum,” Lake said. “Hopefully it’ll just carry on this quarter.”
Pierce College Puyallup student and Anchor Club President Victoria Cardenas follows the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that the Office of Student Life provides. She said she likes seeing what events and competitions are happening.
“I like to know what’s going on in the school community,” Cardenas said.
Another Facebook follower is Pierce College Puyallup student Nathan Ramsey. He said he focuses on its Facebook page as the primary social media outlet to get information.
“The Facebook page is a great tool for finding out what events are happening on campus,” Ramsey said.
Students are urged to make suggestions of what they would like to see on the Office of Student Life’s social media outlets.
On a smaller scale, social media may be used by individual classes or instructors.
Anthropology professor Kathryn Keith uses social media to enhance her anthropology classes.
The Canvas system allows Keith to integrate a Twitter feed into the home page of each class.
“I use it to give quick and easy access to material that relates to the class,” Keith said.
She uses her Twitter account to write about or retweet important archeological and anthropological findings.
Students can follow Keith, but she won’t follow them back, as to maintain student privacy. She estimated that between four and five students had followed her in the past year.
“I tweet about other stuff too, like music, and some students unfollow me; they must be thinking ‘Oh God, she’s boring,’” Keith said.
While Keith is adept at using Twitter to deliver new information to her students, she chooses to avoid most other forms of social media.
“That’s about the extent of my social media use,” Keith said.
Before the adoption of Canvas and the popularity of modern social media, the Pierce College anthropology department professors created and maintained a blog. Though it wasn’t extremely popular at the time, Keith hopes that the department will begin using the blog again.
Keith realizes that each of the different social media move in and out of use quickly.
“You see what sticks and what works and what doesn’t,” Keith said.
She’s found something that works for her students.
For students interested in getting involved with activities and meeting other students, clubs at Pierce College Puyallup also have used social media as a place for members to gather.
Check out the side bar for links to the social media for the Pierce College District, The Puyallup, the Puyallup Office of Student Life and various campus clubs.
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