For our generation, Twitter is a natural platform to express grievances about our Baylor experience — be it parking-related, I-35 construction, over-irrigation of the sidewalks, etc.
The thing about tweeting @Baylor is that as cathartic as it may be, it is unproductive.
The Baylor Twitter account is run by Baylor’s social media coordinator Rachel Miller-Moudgil. She is on the same team as the people who manage the official Baylor Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest accounts. While Rachel has an important role managing Baylor’s Twitter, she has no university policy-making power. Whenever @Baylor’s mentions are flooded with angry rants, her job is not to relay the messages to administration. Her job is to maintain the account.
“Each of us on the team helps monitor and develop the strategy for the accounts, responds to comments, writes for the BaylorProud blog and assesses new social media platforms and tools,” Miller-Moudgil said. “Our ultimate goal is to engage positively with the Baylor family, give them updates about what’s happening on campus and really develop an online community for Bears.”
For some institutions, social media acts as a bridge for communication. For example, accounts like Adobe Customer Care (@AdobeCare) respond personally and promptly to technical questions. Major food chains like Taco Bell (@tacobell), Domino’s Pizza (@dominos) and McDonald’s (@McDonalds) respond to customer complaints typically within a couple hours, forwarding cases to their restaurant feedback site or another human resources office.
Baylor’s Twitter is not designed to serve this function. Tweeting to a communications representative will not elicit a response from the university. It just makes the jobs of people in Baylor’s Division of Marketing and Communications more stressful.
Social media is great for building camaraderie and releasing in-the-moment frustration, but if you actually care about the topic you are so passionately tweeting about, you should stop speaking into the Twitter void. Instead, speak through a medium that actually has the potential to bring about the change you tweet about wanting so much.
Channeling aggression into another medium can turn destructive hate tweets into constructive criticism. While the former projects negativity, the latter promotes productivity.
“You’ll get a better solution if your question or concern goes directly to the person or department responsible,” Miller-Moudgil said. “So before you tweet, think about the person or department that could help you and Google their website and contact information.”
Issues with Financial Aid can be taken to Clifton Robinson Tower, where there is staff dedicated to providing case-by-case guidance. Problems within your department can be discussed with department chairs. Professors have allotted office hours where they are available to meet with you one-on-one.
On-campus protests, referred to as “expressive activity,” can be conducted as long as the event is registered with the Department of Student Activities at least 24 hours in advance.
The Baylor Lariat also publishes letters from the Baylor community, which can be submitted to Lariat_Letters@baylor.edu.
At the end of the day, we are harming ourselves when we attack Baylor. As many faults as we may find in Baylor, it is still the institution certifying our degrees. Years down the road, a degree from Baylor University is hopefully something we can proudly display. We should be cultivating its reputation, not tearing it down.
Rather than tearing Baylor down with our tweets, we should make our best effort to build it up with our activism. There are outlets for us to be heard; let’s use them.