The Center for Student Engagement and Leadership Development will face some changes for the 2012-13 school year.
Recognized Student Clubs/Organizations (RSCOs) are under the purview of the Center for Student Engagement and may experience some changes to RSCO policies for next year.
In a joint effort between the marketing and public relations department and the Center for Student Engagement, it is being recommended that RSCOs who have a Facebook page add a member of the marketing team as an administrator in an effort to streamline Mercyhurst University’s presence online and on Facebook.
RSCO presidents have been contacted and were asked to meet with Web Coordinator Chris Norris and include him as an administrator on their respective Facebook pages.
According to Sarah Allen, director of the Center for Student Engagement, the reason behind adding the marketing department to the RSCO Facebook pages is two-fold.
“We want to make Mercyhurst University have a positive and streamline presence on Facebook. For example, when you search for Mercyhurst, we want the university page to come up first, not an inactive RSCO page,” Allen said.
Although it is not an official policy yet, the move is designed to prevent a RSCO page from being inactive, perhaps due to the student with administrative rights graduating and leaving the page inactive, and to help all RSCO pages transition from the page to group category on Facebook.
Allen indicated that ideally the only Mercyhurst page on Facebook will be the official university page, while all of the RSCOs who want an online presence will be within the group category.
“We haven’t made this an official policy but are encouraging presidents to consider meeting with Chris and help us make these social media goals a reality,” Allen said.
The Center for Student Engagement will make any policy changes to the RSCO handbook over the summer, with club presidents and faculty advisers being notified in the fall.
Although there are upwards of 80 active RSCOs on campus, only 20 use Facebook, Allen estimated.
“We really only have a handful of RSCOs that utilize Facebook at this point. Along with these changes, we are considering a workshop in the fall to help educate students how to utilize Facebook and maximize exposure for their clubs,” Allen said.
In terms of student reaction to the policy, the sharing of administrative rights has been received relatively well.
Queer Straight Alliance President Mark Ennis, a sophomore, indicated that he was open to the changes.
“I see it as a way to help the RSCOs. Why not use it as a promotional tool? It seems to be a mutually beneficial policy,” Ennis said.
Senior Lauren Moss, president of the Mercyhurst Equality of Women club, who already met with Norris and made the administrative changes, had a similar take on the Center for Student Engagement’s recommendation.
“These proposed changes are going to be a great way to reach a larger audience and will make our advertising for events much more effective,” Moss said.
If and when the policy becomes approved, all RSCO presidents will be notified.