Social media connects students to campus

Cortney Wood

University social media coordinator A.J. Lopez gives a presentation on Snapchat on Social Media Day, Oct. 24. Photo by Dewey Cooper

With more than 6,000 student on the campus, administration alongside student organizations work to get information out to students through emails, web word alerts and D2L notifications, but for students that live in the digital age, social media is crucial for students to stay connected to event on campus.

A.J. Lopez III, coordinator of social media for the Division of Student Affairs, said all throughout the year, students are able to contact information just by a few taps of their fingers and a send of a tweet.

According to Lopez, he has to check each social media platform to “make sure the campus hasn’t burned down” while he slept.

“Students make sure to tag us in all kinds of things: from events, to rumors they heard, to needing to needing to remind students of finals schedules,” he said. “Usually I keep my phone on silent because we get notification bings all the time, but students normally know they won’t get a response to a question after midnight.”

From there, Lopez said coordinates with variety of people on campus to help push any information to students.

We have a master calendar that we have created to know what’s coming up, when we need to post about it and which platform would most appropriately suit that event.

Organizations use the “Big Four,” (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat) most often because more than 24,000 people follow the official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts alone, not including any student organizations linked to the campus.

As things come up, Lopez said most students use those platforms, however use them in different ways. Student organizations contact Lopez and coordinate when their event is and how to reach students.

Organizations such as the Student Government Association, the Wichitan, fraternities, the people respecting the identity and diversity of everyone and the university programing board all connect with the administration to further promote student involvement on the campus.

“We can tell what events are going to be popular based off the screenshots and interests of students leading up to an event, and therefore know which events will be the most fun to cover live as they happen,” Lopez said. “We use Bradley Wilson for the academic stuff because we always know he will be there for the Wichitan, so we retweet what he posts. We constantly look at the times and schedules of events to put out information.

Incoming freshman seek out the university’s social media first, Lopez said, which gives students a feeling of connection when they receive a tweet back or like. Some students have a larger following that the campus social media and are “top influencers” on the student body, and through that, Lopez said the administration is trying to figure out how to unitize that to draw more people into interacting with the campus.

“We really up our social media interactions with students and prospective students because we want to create a familiar communication option for students,” he said. “We take selfies with touring students, post flyers of organizations with particular interests, but more than anything it’s kind of random at what information we get so we have to constantly be on the lookout for what students need to know.”



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