22256555100b29a0da86yd2 Many of us  have them: the University created ‘Class of 2013’ groups or pages in Facebook. I’m sure many of us use them in the same way: connect with students, answer questions, read and pass along prevalent student issues, etc. But how many of us really interact with students versus remaining a quiet but visible resource?

Unobtrusively, I’ve been adding ‘officers’ to our Class of group that represent various areas of the university that may be important to new students: New Student Programs, Student Affairs/Activities, On and Off Campus Housing, etc. I’ve made it known to students that this group is here for them to use and for the university to make better. I’ve reached out to active students in the forums and asked for them to become officers representing their peers for feedback and to make the community better. So far, all involved have seemed excited and engaged.

Overall, the University has remained an outsider, letting students speak to each other about problems, fears and questions while watching upperclassmen, other freshmen, or office representatives jump in with answers. Primarily, students seem to answer students questions organically without university sanctioned prompting. I’ve found this exercise in community management and growth fascinating.

How have your communities been created, grown and fostered? Have you needed to provide much more than the forum itself to watch it grow and be a valued resource?

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1 Comment

  1. insidetimshead says:

    I won’t lie. I really didn’t pay much attention to what was happening with Class of 2013 groups until Facebookgate, aka the College Prowler incident. That’s when I noted there was a real page run by an incoming student and a Prowler-fed page (now defunct). I’ve talked quite a bit to the student who runs the authentic page and really think it came together quite well organically; he practically had to “hire” someone to administer the page, as its popularity far exceeded his expectations or time. Very rarely I’ve jumped in if there’s something that needed to be communicated or, more often, debunked.

    Just after Facebookgate, I leapt in and created an official Class of 2014 group. I reckon there’s time until it starts seeing members — though tempus fugit lately. So I plan to turn that over to a couple of student administrators to manage … let’s say I have candidates in the pipeline. I’d rather it out of our hands. After all, do I really want to get involved in conversations on whether teenagers should try to get fake IDs? Not so much.

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