MyWellesley will become a central point for vital information
By GRACE BALLENGER ’17
The Wellesley College administration is in the process of creating a new MyWellesley page to centralize essential information following a campus-wide survey distributed in October. The survey focused on students’ social media usage and was developed as part of an effort to strengthen communication between the administration and students.
The survey designed by the Social Media Working Group, which includes Dean DeMeis, the dean of students, and Hana Glasser ’15, current College Government President, was presented by DeMeis at Senate last Monday. The survey results show that the two most effective ways for the administration to communicate with students are through email and MyWellesley, as 98 percent of Wellesley students check their email daily and 48 percent use MyWellesley daily.
Communication between the administration and students currently takes place on a variety of different social media networks, including Twitter and Instagram. However, Lucy Shen ’17 questions how effective these websites are at providing students vital information.
“[The administration] is trying to use Twitter and Instagram, but unless you’re on those sites a lot, it’s hard to keep up. So I know they’re using these things, but I don’t know how effective it is,” Shen said.
Felicia Brown ’14 believes that instead of following a policy of centralization, the administration should put information in as many places as possible to make it accessible.
“I think when they’re sending out information, they should try to put it in as many forms as possible so that they know that it will reach students,” Brown said.
According to Dean DeMeis, the currently decentralized communication strategy is not effective.
“We don’t have an established format that I know that if I use it students will know where to look to find it. And there’s no established format that the students have been told ‘this is how the information will come to you,’” DeMeis said.
The administration currently sends emails to report on major updates, which the Social Media Working Group found 82 percent of students prefer. However, email may not be the best form of communication due to the large volume of email that students receive.
“At least half the student responses referenced ‘I get too much email, so I don’t read it.’ At the same time, the vast majority said ‘But I want to get my information through email,’” DeMeis said.
While the administration will continue to use email, they will also turn to other online resources to pass information on to students.
Because approximately half of the student body checks MyWellesley everyday, the administration has decided it is a good platform to share information with the student body. Accordingly, the working group has redesigned the MyWellesley page to include more important and timely information.
The new MyWellesley page will be launched on July 1, 2014 and will be available at the beginning of the 2014-2015 academic year. When students log in to the new MyWellesley page, they will see six boxes, each of which will include a feed that will constantly update. The proposed feeds are announcements, events, dining hall hours and menus, policy information and on-campus employment opportunities. The Social Media Working Group currently seeks suggestions on the type of information they should display in the sixth box.
“This is something that we’re excited about because it’s not another email. It’s just an easy place where you can go to find all the things that are important,” Glasser said.
After the new MyWellesley page is introduced the administration plans to distribute another survey next fall to measure the effectiveness of the page.