One thousand and ninety four. That’s the number of student organizations currently active on campus, and each one is an individual labor of love for their members. They bring people together around a shared passion, and people pour hours of their time each week into the clubs where they’ve carved out a home. The University takes great pride in the diversity of clubs available on the Forty Acres.
The problem is, with so many student organizations, prospective members are often overwhelmed with options. They ignore the majority of opportunities around them because the organizations tabling provide too much information at once. To resolve this issue, UT’s social media should begin to spotlight individual student organizations around campus.
Each week, UT or its various constituent colleges such as the College of Liberal Arts could create an Instagram post about a particular organization on campus, providing information about what they do, when they meet and contact information for further questions. Clubs interested in participating could send in their information to ensure that it’s current and correct, and the posts could recognize the organizations as first come, first served.
This solution could benefit both clubs and prospective members. For clubs, a social media feature would enable them to reach a large audience and would encourage people to join by offering information about what they do and when they meet.
“We have a lot of issues getting (information about our club) to people because campus is so big and not everyone has time to come ask all the questions they want to,” Emily Mitchell, president of UT’s beekeeping society, said. “I think this would help people get in touch with organizations they like without the awkwardness of tabling.”
This would also help prospective members filter through the huge number of clubs around campus. Students are busy, and the ranks of tables in front of Gregory Gym can often appear too much of a hassle to sort through. If University Communications were to spotlight one club at a time, they could regulate the otherwise torrential amount of information and allow viewers to actually process what is presented to them.
This idea wouldn’t be difficult to implement, either. “It’s definitely something different UT social accounts can consider,” Deseré Cross Ward, social media strategist for UT, said. “The diversity and vitality of our student organizations are a big draw for people looking to come to UT, so showcasing their activities is an appealing idea.”
These posts can easily be incorporated by Instagram accounts other than the official UT Instagram account as well.
“I think this is a good way to help students be more aware of the different opportunities that they have on campus,” Emily Nielsen, digital content producer for the College of Liberal Arts, said. “This is definitely something I could work into our calendar.”
Having so many opportunities at your fingertips is one of the advantages of coming to a large school like UT. It would be a shame if people never discovered the perfect club for them just because that club was lost in the hubbub of the other 1,093 organizations on campus. A simple Instagram post could make all the difference.
Thielman is a sophomore history and rhetoric and writing major from Fort Worth.