Story by Taylor Eisenhauer
Social media has become an integral part of life for most college students, whether it is for academics, socialization or staying caught up in the world.
The Drake Social Media Club wants to bring together enthusiasts, casual users and those who just want to learn more about the technology.
The club experienced a rocky start, but members hope to start fresh in the fall with a more developed structure and purpose.
Aaron Jaco, digital media specialist for the Office of University Communications at Drake Universsity, had the original idea for the club.
“I want to let the students guide the vision of the club, but what I can provide is expertise (and) connections, including professional connections with people in the Des Moines community who work in social media (or) marketing,” Jaco said.
The first meeting was held last fall with a modest turnout. There were a few subsequent meetings, with fewer students showing up each time.
“We (saw) dwindling numbers from kids that aren’t interested in it because there is no set statement. There is no set goal,” said Sarah Beth Coleman, a first-year music and journalism student.
Coleman was an original member and has since become the webmaster for the Social Media Club. There have not been any meetings this semester, but Coleman is beginning the process of transitioning the Social Media Club into an official organization, by drafting a constitution and a specific vision statement through Student Senate.
She wants the club to focus on how social media is used, how we can use it better and what it does for an individual’s interactions.
“I hope to have this all up and running by fall of next year,” she said. “It’s really something that people should be keeping their eyes out for.”
Coleman has also started reaching out to the Des Moines Social Media Club to see what programs they are holding and if she can bring any of them to campus.
The Social Media Club hosted one public event last semester during finals week. The theme of the Spotify event was “Building the Ultimate Finals Week Playlist.” Jaco and other members set up a PA system in Quad Creek Café and took requests to build the finals playlist.
“We were educating students about Spotify and other streaming radio services,” Jaco said.
In the future, the Social Media Club hopes to bring in guest speakers to discuss different social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, and how students can use those different platforms to promote their skills.
Another possibility includes technical workshops, where students could learn to use Google+ and other social media platforms.
Jaco hopes that the club reaches beyond those who regularly use social media.
“We really want to have events starting in the fall that will engage the whole community,” Jaco said.
Tom Scearce, a first-year news-Internet major, was one of the original members and is waiting to hear what is coming next.
“I’d definitely love to be a part of getting it back together,” he said. “I just have come to love social media. I’m on every single social media site you could probably imagine.”
For more information about the Social Media Club, contact Jaco at email@example.com or Coleman at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @DrakeSMClub on Twitter.