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SMC hosts social media week

| Sunday, February 15, 2015

Saint Mary’s launched an initiative this week to engage students through the College’s social media sites and hosting educational events to help students use social media to enter the workforce. Director of Career Crossings Stacie Jeffirs said Social Media Week is modeled after a national initiative.

“Several other colleges and universities have also implemented a week-long program to highlight various aspects and impacts of social media,” she said. “The Saint Mary’s Social Media Week planning committee felt as though these issues and topics are of great relevance to our students, and this led to us creating a week of programming to address these topics and issues.”

WEB_social_media_week

Director of the Belles Against Violence Office Connie Adams said the planning for Social Media Week was a collaborative effort across campus, including groups such as Marketing Communications, Career Crossings, Athletics and Recreation, Residence Life and Community Standards, Student Affairs, Belles Against Violence, Dining Services, Admissions, Cushwa-Leighton Library and Alumnae Relations.

“Those [who were] part of the [original] committee identified other departments on campus which use social media extensively and faculty who oversee department social media sites and extended the opportunity to collaborate on this week,” Adams said. “We also included students who are connected to departments as interns and student workers who use social media for more than just social use. They had some great contributions. It’s been an incredibly collaborative effort and great fun.”

McCandless hall director Kelley McCarthy said she is excited about Social Media Week because of how prominent social media has become.

“I love the influence social media has in today’s world,” she said. “You are able to connect with people from anywhere. My favorite use for social media is using it in my field of higher education.”

Jeffirs said she is looking forward to bringing the power of social media to the attention of students this week.

“Social media is a way for students to connect on a personal level, but it also impacts them on a professional level,” she said. “Students need to be ahead of the curve when it comes to knowing how to use social media in a professional way.”

Nearly everyone is integrated with social media today, Adams said.

“It seems that everyone’s mom and grandpa and dog are connected in some way,” she said. “An Egyptian man even named his son Facebook due to the critical role it played in the revolution there a few years ago. It’s the first thing many college students look at in the morning and the last thing they scan at night.”

Adams said the Social Media Week events are both practical and fun.

“With social media being in nearly every aspect of our lives coupled with the reality of its permanence and the opportunity for positive change or negative impacts, we must be conscience consumers,” Adams said. “The impact is real on our lives, regardless of whether we are students, faculty or staff.

“What we are doing now, or not doing now, has an impact on things three months, three years and 30 years down the road. And how can you turn down a chocolate fountain, large posters of memes featuring beloved [College] President [Carol Ann] Mooney or other fabulous prizes, such as gift cards, t-shirts and travel mugs?”

McCarthy said students should attend Social Media Week not only for the great prizes but also to better understand the impact their social media profiles have on their futures.

Jeffirs said Social Media Week will feature an alumnae panel, a visit from a Google ambassador and a panel on cyber-bullying, as well as other events.

“There are a broad range of topics and issues all related to various aspects of social media that we’ll be touching upon,” Jeffirs said.

McCarthy said Mooney will also be taking part in the week’s events. To stay updated, students can follow the hashtag #Bellesgetsocial

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