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CSU groups look to improve ‘Likes’


December 1, 2011

By Ashley Ammond and Brittany Lett

In only a few short years, social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter have taken over the way many people communicate. Colleges and universities across the nation have taken these outlets to help improve their student organization and student group involvement, and Cleveland State is no different.

Though millions of people world-wide use such social media outlets, in a recent poll conducted of 100 random CSU students, CSU students Ashley Ammond and Brittany Lett asked, “How many CSU groups do you follow on Facebook?”

The results may surprise you. Though CSU prides itself on having 190 registered student organizations, with more in the process, most of these groups don’t have Facebook pages, and the ones that do aren’t frequented as often as one may think.

Results showed that 46 percent of the randomly surveyed CSU students that have a Facebook account follow one or more CSU groups and organizations mainly because they want to be updated on news, current events and activities going on at CSU.

One anonymous surveyor said, “I like the CSU pages because they provide information on campus events and post pictures from the events they host.”

Twenty-eight percent of students said they have a Facebook account; however, they had no knowledge of CSU groups and organizations even having Facebook pages.

The remaining 26 percent of students didn’t have a Facebook account.

Facebook can be used as a marketing and recruiting tool for groups on campus and can play a very important role in allowing students to send their feedback and suggestions.

However, with the results that came back in the poll, it is clear most students don’t use the social website for those reasons.

Some groups realize the importance of having the student body “like” them, and they are working on ways to improve upon the issue.

“We just started our Facebook page,” said assistant director of the Career Services Center, John B. Scanlan. “We’re still exploring it to see how students can use it.”

Other groups have already come up with new ideas to get the attention of students.

Marketing Director of Campus Activities Board (CAB), Logan Bisesi-Adkins said, “We update our Facebook page everyday and we get a lot of feedback. We’re always about making things convenient for students to connect with us so our next project is through the use of OrgSync.”

OrgSync is the leading provider of organization management software for higher education institutions across the country and Canada. It provides organizations and programs on campuses with their own online community to connect with their members and manages events, news and more.

Although OrgSync may seem like the answer for some campuses, some CSU organizations are having trouble drawing in more students in order to use it.

Viking Expeditions, for example, has been having problems getting students involved through OrgSync. Most students who are already registered to the site are involved in other student organizations.

“We have currently been trying to adopt OrgSync as a means of communication, but because a lot of people who aren’t involved in student organizations don’t use it, it hasn’t been very successful,” said Viking Expeditions president, Emily Sandish.

CSU organizations are observing different ways to draw in more involvement through social networks.

The Career Service Center is looking at other campuses’ facebook pages to see how they use social media to involve students and gain more exposure about their group.

Most groups also find it especially important to constantly update their pages on news,events and issues occurring within the group so that students are informed in an easy way.

It is important for groups to check and update their page, so they can let students know what is going on.

However, there are groups that don’t check students’ feedback, which could end up hurting their recruitment numbers.

“We constantly update our Facebook page of all the events we have at Black Studies,” said director of the Black Studies Program, Dr. Michael R. Williams.

“Because of that, more people come out to our events and spread the word about us on their Facebook pages to their friends,” Williams said.

Social media plays a large role in student involvement.

So for the 28 percent of students who are unaware Facebook had CSU-related pages, it’s time to “like” a page or two.