One of Jeff Yeager's campaign promises was to run an open, honest, trasnparent Student Government Association if he were elected President. He won over the students and they bought into what he said, ultimately choosing him over opponent Ashley Hicks.
The late summer and early fall semester of 2009 started off strong for Yeager in that regard; the SGA was very transparent. Jeff had recently launched a blog, "From the President's Desk," an official SGA twitter account was created and the first in a promised series of YouTube updates was uploaded.
Then, the whole transparency thing kind of fell apart.
Jeff had 3 blog entries in July, 2 in August, 1 in September, 1 in October, then that was it. No more updates from the SGA President to the students.
The first tweet from the SGA's twitter was on August 13. They had one more tweet on the 13th, one on the 14th, then one on the 15th. A total of 4 tweets, from August 13-15, 2009. Then, nothing. They were done with the official SGA twitter account.
The first YouTube video featured Attorney General Bill Lewis talking about the SGA's plans to be open and transparent. That video was uploaded on August 13. He promised more video updates in the future. There hasn't been another video.
I initially brought this up in a previous blog a few weeks ago. Click here to read that (and also see the YouTube video). One point I bring up in that blog is how the SGA isn't utilizing Facebook, which is clearly the most popular social networking medium for Concord students. Here's what I wrote:
I'm not sure why the SGA isn't trying harder to utilize Facebook in an effort to reach out to Concord students. It's clearly the most popular of the social-network mediums among Concord students. I don't know why a group hasn't been created called "SGA Information" or something like that, which would keep students updated on things like the Haiti/Spring Fling deal or budgetary whatnots & other SGA-related rumblings.
I'm not sure which SGA committee would look into something like this. SGA Affairs? Technology? Publicity? Tuition & Fees? Okay, probably not Tuition & Fees.
I may re-visit this thought in a few weeks or so. I'll see how the "higher ups" in the SGA respond. Maybe they'll pop out a new YouTube video and start tweeting a little bit more. We'll see what happens with that.
Well, I guess you could consider this to be me re-visiting this subject. After I posted that blog, it set off a couple switches among some in the SGA. In the days after posting that entry, I had a few Facebook instant message conversations with the SGA President. He agreed that his administration had dropped the ball in that area.
At the SGA meeting following my blog, President Yeager noted in his report that had not been trasnparent enough. It was also announced that there was a new Twitter account created, and a Facebook account.
Later that night, I received notifications that @CUSGA was "following me" and Concord Sga wanted to be my friend.
The first tweet from the new SGA account was sent out Feb. 23. They presently have 7 tweets over the course of 7 days. They're general information tweets, telling people when the SGA meets, and also sending out an alert that Concord was on the inclement weather schedule.
The Facebook account has pretty much been the same as the Twitter, sending out roughly the same updates. The account currently has 138 "friends." That's 138 Concord students (well, mostly, probably) who can keep up-to-date with the SGA. They're getting updates in their news feed about when the meeting is held, and that Concord is on the inclement weather schedule, among other things.
This is a good start for both accounts, so far. The key to making both of these accounts matter is to post relevant information. If they post nothing but weekly updates along the lines of "the SGA meets every Wednesday at 4 p.m. Stop by," then nothing will be accomplished. These accounts are for people who don't want to go to the meetings.
The Facebook account should publish the minutes in the "notes" section. A tweet should say, "Amendment 030310 passed. It [does this]." A Facebook status update should say, "What do you like about Spring Fling?" and let people get involved.
The biggest way for this to be seen as important is for the current SGA members to get involved. In that Spring Fling status I just mentioned, there should be 10 or 15 members of the student senate debating the subject. That shows the regular students looking at this, that the Facebook account is a great way to get informed about something, and also a good forum for the expression and discussion of ideas.
Just a few thoughts I have on the subject. I'll see how they do with this and maybe throw an update out in a few weeks.
One final note - Jeff started blogging again. Check it out at http://presidentyeager.blogspot.com/2010/02/midterm-update.html
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As usual, here's the disclaimer:
I import these blogs into Facebook. That gives me the option to "tag" people, sending them an e-mail notification. I tag people for two reasons - 1) if I mention you by name & 2) if I think you will find this interesting. If you are tagged and don't want to be, let me know. If I don't tag you & you'd like to be tagged in the future, let me know.
There is a comment feature on this blog & I don't mind if you use it. It's cool to disagree, as long as it's kept civil. Anonymous comments are allowed, as long as it's relevant & mildly profanity free.