What are students saying about life at PSU?
“So many things happen on campus on a single day,” says social media manager Christian Aniciete, a PSU alumnus. “We strive to reflect that beautiful and vibrant life.”
Behind the scenes, Aniciete and two student staff members monitor all the social media channels and respond to questions, comments and complaints. He says they also interact with prospective students from all over the world.
The social media team likes to reward users. Two or three times a year, they throw parties, like the PSU Tweetup last fall, when they opened up the university game room and gave away free pizza and Voodoo doughnuts to over 200 guests. Every term during finals week, they deliver 50 to 75 care packages to students who post where they’re studying on campus. From time to time, the social media team sends gifts, such as shirts and swag, to prospective students who engage with the school’s social media.
“Choosing a college is a stressful decision,” says Aniciete. “We want to add some fun to it."
The university also publishes a blog called PSU Chronicles, where current students from all levels and majors write about life at PSU.
One of the bloggers is Andrew D. Jankowski, who started at PSU directly after high school, then left for a few years to get experience outside of academia. He’s now back at PSU at the age of 27, studying English with a double minor in film and writing.
”I love that Portland State gives writers this platform to develop and get their voice out there,” he says. His posts have included his reflections on returning to school, his reaction to last fall’s presidential election, and a list of top PSU resources.
The bloggers on PSU Chronicles bring a wide range of points of view, and Jankowski says that diversity reflects a university-wide attitude.
“There’s something for every student at PSU,” he says. “At PSU, you interact with cultural perspectives that you wouldn’t normally interact with, and you learn why that’s important.”
PSU recently appeared in a U.S. News & World Report list of the top 10 “most innovative” national universities, and Aniciete says that the school’s social media approach fits in with that. “We’re always on the lookout for new technology, new trends,” he says.
PSU’s social media efforts have been recognized by the SoMe Social Media Awards and Council for Advancement and Support of Education and more importantly, more students are using social media to have a conversation with the university, and even better, with one another.