Over 700 Southern students are Facebook friends with Jaime Lynn Hutchinson, Senior Programmer for ProCon, she said. Through this social network, the organization reaches out to the Southern community and gets the ball rolling to get students involved.
“This method is helpful because it reaches a lot of people,” Hutchinson said. “I send out invitations and then friends send it to friends and they sent it to other friends, and it goes on like that.”
Facebook is just one of the means ProCon uses to advertise events. Posters and a more recent method, mannequins, also serve as advertisement.
“We have been dressing up manikins and putting a poster in their hands to get peoples’ attention,” said Hutchinson.
But Hutchinson says the most effective way is word of mouth.
“And that is kind of how Facebook works,” said Hutchinson.
Hutchinson said ProCon gets a lot of responses and a lot of people attend their events, although she is not sure if the success comes from using Facebook, because they use several means to reach people.
“Four hundred people attended the Welcome Back Dance,” she said. “That was really good.”
Hutchinson said the main point of reaching out to students is to inform them about the events that ProCon organizes, but more importantly is to incite them to get involved.
“I want to stress how good it is for students to get involved,” she said.
It is beneficial to get involved and it brings more opportunities to students, according to Hutchinson.
Those who get involved get to network and participate in conferences if they are dedicated, which is a great experience, she said. Also, students that get involved in something during college get to know more about themselves, their strengths and their work.
“I started at Southern as an elementary education major and after a year of being in Programs Council, I changed my major to organizational communication and I love it,” said Hutchinson.
Her advice for Southern students, she said, is that whenever they get invitations or see posters for events around campus, try to participate. Otherwise, go to the Student Life office and get informed about what is going on.
Felix Reyes, a theater major, belongs to several clubs and said he thinks using Facebook as a way of reaching out to students turns out to be very efficient, because people feel the need to socialize through the internet and also to stay connected.
“By using Facebook we are able to enhance advertisement for people to go to the clubs or get interested in them because they are consistently being reminded of them on Facebook,” he said.
It only takes a second to take a look at what is going on, Reyes said, and students immediately know
what is happening and can stay more up-to-date.
“You feel like you are part of what is going on at Southern or on campus so you are not lost completely. Is definitely more accessible,” Reyes said. “It gives students the privilege of indulging themselves in events on campus.”
Will Ruiz, a psychology major at Southern, said he doesn’t belong to any clubs at SCSU but he was part of a couple at UConn, where he attended last year, and he doesn’t really like being contacted via Facebook by the clubs.
“I think it’s lazy of people to use Facebook for so much of a networking need. It’s becoming more than just a friend-finder and communicator,” Ruiz said. “It’s becoming the organizations’ way of reaching their consumer and/or audience, making Facebook messy when it comes to messages and spam.”