Southern Oregon University has long since been known as a commuter campus, with many raiders traveling from surrounding towns, but the disconnect between students and campus life is very high. The tendency of a commuter campus is that students are often coming and going at different times, therefore making unification or informing of events very difficult. Attempts at sharing news mostly come from posters and tack boards around campus.
While the Stevenson Union is a large central area, it is not visited by everyone on campus. Also, even though Raider Village is a densely populated area but mostly only freshman traverse it’s walkways.
The notification by the school to inform students through emails aren’t very efficient either. With student affairs, ASSOU and updates combining to average about three emails a day, students are ignoring their messages and therefore, at a loss for news of campus events.
Simon Mcguire a soon-to-be sophomore expressed how impartial he had become to the daily emails by the end of last year. “I’d wake up and see 3 emails on my phone, more if I hadn’t checked in awhile. 50% of the time I would pick one to read and then just delete the others.”
The student orientation coordinators have taken to recruiting current SOU students who might be able to help with involvement of different groups around campus
One of those is Dari Bohn, a communications student working mostly with social media outreach to help inform students of events going on around campus and unite the schools different media platforms. Currently, many SOU departments have Twitter accounts or Facebook pages including Emerging Media and Digital Arts, Raiders athletics and even Hannon Library. Unfortunately, these accounts don’t reach many users as they have limited followers and receive few shares or retweets.
Bohn ideally hopes to tap into the large number of students online and get them to know about what is going on. “I know the demographic of students are on a social media. And we want them to be checking for the school stuff so they’ll be more involved on campus and with events we promise on our medias.”
Southern Oregon is a small campus, but one that has continually showed excellence in different programs. This high priority of student involvement, matched with newly elected President Uyehara’s belief in institution transparency, could form together and be the unification that all liberal arts college’s hope to retain.