The student body at Maryville College is comprised of individuals of all types. There are athletes and wordsmiths, artists and environmentalists, and more. Students come from a variety of backgrounds and grow to love Maryville College for reasons as varied as the students themselves.
Now, students can express their affections for the college through an atypical avenue: Facebook.
As the most visited website of 2011, Facebook is undeniably popular among undergraduates. It should thus come as no surprise that the social-networking site has now placed a hand upon MC, through the group, “The best things about Maryville College.”
The group was created by Mike Boudreau of MC security in July 2011.
As the page itself states, the group was created “for any persons affiliated with Maryville College in hopes to promote the college and to allow alumni and others to fellowship with each other.”
The best things about Maryville College is now nearing 700 members, including current and former students.
The page celebrates the benefits of the MC education, the amenities of the campus and the personal growth of students as a result of classes, faculty, staff and peers.
Boudreau expressed his hope that the page would help recruit new students who were considering the college.
This raises the question: is Facebook an appropriate medium for advocating MC? Should it be taken seriously?
Senior writing and communications major Justin Kirkland, an avid user of Facebook, argued the site’s importance in the context of a college setting.
“I think we forget how powerful Facebook is for us,” Kirkland said. “I mean, sure, there’s party pictures and witty statuses, but it’s your life on show. It’s more than an online game; it’s become a litmus test for the kind of person you are, whether you like that or not.”
Facebook is home to study group organizations. It proudly displays photographs from J-term trips and SGA events. It helps students, particularly newcomers to the campus, to familiarize themselves with their peers and, in some cases, professors.
In many ways, students use the site to document the entirety of their educational experiences.
With Facebook a staple to the young individual’s social life, it seems reasonable that academia would seek to find a place in the social-networking trend.
As Boudreau had hoped, Facebook has most certainly become a tool for recruitment.
According to Wendy Petty, admissions counselor and MC alum, most members of the admissions staff encourage potential students to “friend” or “like” them on Facebook, where they post their respective schedules in addition to information about the application process.
“[W]e do have a ‘Class of 2016’ Facebook page,” Petty said. “The ‘Class of 2016’ page generates a lot of dialogue and enthusiasm between the incoming freshmen. We post upcoming events, helpful hints, fun or interesting web articles about MC, and the counselors encourage them to interact with each other.”
With an institution such as MC, perhaps it is hard to determine a “best” thing. Fortunately, the Facebook group allows members to post as many “best” things as they choose.
For this young writer, the best thing about Maryville College is the college woods. The best thing is the intelligent and friendly faculty and staff. The best thing is the unique education obtained while surrounded by excellent peers.
Hopefully, this Facebook group will continue to grow, allowing all who so choose to share their opinions of Maryville on the popular website.