Opinion

Online student forums provide a sense of community

Whether it be voicing concerns, seeking solutions, advertising an event on campus or even looking for a recommendation on what professor to take, students at SVSU long to feel as if they are contributing to the university community on a greater level.

With no official avenue for this to happen, students sometimes feel lost.

Previously, SVSU sponsored a Facebook page called “SVSU I’m Boss,” where students had a place to contribute updates, advice or even job opportunities to fellow Cardinals.

This created what many would consider the golden era of community at SVSU, a time in the history of our campus where people were actually willing to participate not out of obligation, but because they
truly felt connected to the people around them.

However, as is true with most good things, “I’m Boss” would eventually be archived by a member of administration, preventing anyone else from posting to the forum.

In the time since, students created a similar version of “I’m Boss” on Facebook, naming it a very fitting “SVSU We’re Boss.”

“We’re Boss” took off almost immediately, gaining close to 1,000 members in the first year.

Most of these members had been part of the previous Facebook page and saw the enormous benefits that came from “I’m Boss.”

As great of a spin-off as “We’re Boss” would become, it lacked the originality and initial creativeness that was “I’m Boss.”

Not only did the lack of innovation become a problem, but many students and alumni were confused by the requirement of changing their Facebook email to their SVSU email in order to join the community.

This would eventually limit the account to what is now only 1,480 members.

This number is less than a third of the following “I’m Boss” had. With such a vast difference in engagement, we further distance ourselves from the original problem: students wanting to be a part of a greater community.

With no party budging on change, students are left with no place to really feel heard.

It doesn’t have to be this way, as there are two solutions that would adequately solve this problem.

The first of these solutions would require the university to un-archive “SVSU I’m Boss,” effectively restoring the original online community that fostered some of the best years many of us have ever seen on this campus.

This would allow for the few students that joined the group as freshmen or sophomores to continue spreading word of the community and establishing a greater presence on campus.

The other solution would require administrators of “SVSU We’re Boss” temporarily removing restrictions on the page that require an SVSU email. This would allow for an influx of new members, establishing credibility to the group.

These settings could of course be changed in the future, but for the time being would allow students to see the huge benefits of flocking fellow Cardinals together in one place.

“We’re Boss” could also take notes from “I’m Boss” and promote the page with events and merch. This is surely something RSOs on campus would support, with many likely willing to financially support the initiatives.

SVSU will forever go through periods of change, be it new buildings, programs or policies.

But one thing will forever remain constant: students wanting to be a part of an active community.

We owe it to ourselves, as well as to our fellow Cardinals, to help see that dream come true.

Categories: Opinion

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