The recent resurrection of the Student Association Facebook and Twitter accounts — which have been largely neglected for the past two years — are the latest in a series of pushes by the 2012 Executive Board to address longstanding complaints about the lack of communication between the SA and the Binghamton University student body.
The final straw, according to SA Executive Vice President Derek Gumb, came at a forum hosted by the Black Student Union and the SA E-Board on Oct. 4, where attendees complained of a perceived gap between the SA and student groups.
“Right that night we decided that we need to implement certain things and make an active campaign to connect with the student body,” said Gumb, a senior majoring in philosophy, politics and law. “We are enhancing the connection between the student body and the SA. Now students know what we do and we’re not some mysterious executive board that you don’t hear about that often.”
Within two days of the forum, the SA had already tweeted three times, one of which announced corrections to outdated contact information for student groups on the PAWS website. The SA has posted more than 10 times since then, spanning a period of just over three weeks.
“Really anything we are doing will be thrown up on our social media outlets,” SA President Mark Soriano wrote in an email to Pipe Dream. “The more open we are, the more students should feel that they are involved. We want to create channels through which students can express their opinions, and the first step is giving them the information they need to formulate those opinions.”
He explained that the social media outlets will give students up-to-date access to concert and programming information and updates, school involvement opportunities and important SA news.
According to Soriano, the goal is for the SA to get a better feel of what students want to see them accomplish.
“We see feedback all the time on Facebook and Twitter that really help us get a sense of student opinions,” he said.
He plans to integrate bi-weekly polls into the SA Facebook page to encourage even more input from students.
“The purpose … is to get reliable feedback that will guide how we govern and operate,” Soriano said.
The renewed focus on social networking is coupled with a facelift and updates to the SA website, which prior to Oct. 5 had not been updated since August.
Joshua Krinsky, an undeclared freshman who follows the SA on Twitter, is excited about the changes that are taking place.
“I think that the Twitter page is an awesome idea,” Krinsky said. “It’s really convenient to be able to get updates about concerts and events right on my phone. The SA is definitely doing a great job of staying connected with students.”
The SA Facebook page currently has more than 1,000 “likes”; however, it received only 36 in October.
“I won’t be completely happy until every student is following the SA, but I am realistic,” Soriano said. “What is most important is that students begin to realize that they have a considerable stake in the SA.”