As U-M enters its next 200 years, UMSocial reflects on the university’s previous accomplishments and future challenges. For our September #umichchat, we gathered a group of student leaders to discuss this topic from a student perspective.

 

Each student serves as a president or central leader in their respective campus organizations, bringing diverse, informed opinions to our panel. Our panelists shared about the reason they chose U-M, why they stayed, and what they feel could be improved.

 

In addition, they discussed the role of their organization in shaping the student experience. To wrap up the chat, we asked our panelists what they saw as U-M’s biggest challenge in the next 200 years, and they offered suggestions for ways in which students can get involved in helping the university address those challenges.

 

Our panelists included: D’Andre Simpson, a junior and President of the Apha Phi Alpha fraternity Inc.; Anushka Sarkar, a senior and current student body president; Emma Kinery, a senior studying history and English and Editor in Chief at The Michigan Daily; and finally, Bowen Zeng, a senior double majoring in mechanical engineering and math and President of the Chinese Undergraduate Student Association.

 

 

 

We asked eleven questions and our panelist were both insightful and well-spoken. They were creative in their responses within the usual Twitter limitation of 140 characters. We were able to speak with them about what campus life is like from a student perspective, professionally touch on a few controversial topics, and explore their visions for the university in its next 200 years.

 

 

 

 

 

At its peak, this chat had 10,506 impressions on one question involving student experiences starting from their freshman years and even perspectives of transfer students.

 

 

We had a lot of alumni chiming in, as well about their experience at Michigan and how it impacted their lives. With our wide community on Twitter, this platform gives alumni the opportunity to be actively involved in #UMichChats. The topic for this particular chat was perfect for Twitter to allow those alumni to provide feedback on their experiences from a past student perspective.

 

 

The chat generated 69,617 impressions, 625 engagements, and 37 replies total in the hour it played out on Twitter. Unfortunately, Twitter analytics do not let us explore the exact report of how many people were involved in a single time frame.

 

Although this platform is good for targeting the U-M student demographic and alumni, ideally we would have more time or less questions so our audience could interact more closely with our panel by asking their own questions. We were also limited by the 140 characters limitations Twitter has, creating thread created some confusion when following along with the responses.