Student Life Takes Social Media by Storm

January 11, 2010

During the Fall 2009 semester, the Dean of Students Office began to reach out to the student body via social media.  Seeing the rapid rise in use, they started to use the powerful Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube platforms.  In doing so, Student Life is ahead of the curve in using these innovative, collaborative media.

One of the biggest social media outlets is Twitter on which Student Life shares interesting campus tidbits, live updating of campus events, and interacting with the fledgling Hampden-Sydney “Twittersphere.”  Student Life also uploaded videos from orientation and "Beyond The Hill" to YouTube where the most popular video has almost 2000 views.

It is on Facebook, however, where Student Life placed the most effort to get the message out.  Prior to matriculation, Student Life managed an official Facebook group for incoming freshmen on which new students could have questions answered and become acquainted with classmates.  Over 60% of the Class of 2013 joined this group.

During 1st semester the Dean of Students Office continued this social media outreach by creating a Facebook page that allows the office to join, share information, and interact with the Hampden-Sydney Facebook community.  The Student Life page uploaded numerous photos, shared many links, and informed the campus community about various upcoming events.  The page also features custom content tabs that inform the community about different aspects and different opportunities that the Dean of Students Office provides for the student body such as "Beyond The Hill."

All this was envisioned, planned, and implemented by Jared Christian ’12, the first Student Life New Media Coordinator.  Working with Mladen Cvijanovic '08, the dean responsible for the Student Life Website, Jared conceived and manages the use of new media by the Dean of Students Office.

The response of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members to Student Life on social media could not be more outstanding.  Each week many people start “following” HSCStudentLife on twitter and watch the videos posted on YouTube.

On Facebook, particularly, the response has been incredible.  During the three months since Student Life started its page, the fan base grew from none to more than one thousand doubling every three weeks.  The Hampden-Sydney Dean of Students Office now has the second largest Dean of Students Facebook presence in the entire world.

According to Cvijanovic, “The implementation of the New Media Student Life program has been a tremendous success.  We were fortunate to find a dedicated young man who has done a tremendous amount of work over the last few months.  I am amazed with the overall interest and response that the Student Life page has received.  I am certain that New Media will continue to be the preferred method of communication and interaction for our current and prospective students.”

Student Life on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/HSCStudentLife
Student Life on Twitter
http://www.twitter.com/HSCStudentLife
Hampden-Sydney YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/user/hampdensydneycollege