On Monday August 29, Dr. Cheryl Norton, President of Slippery Rock University, created her official profile on the popular social media site Twitter. Norton said the creation of the profile had been in production since the spring of 2016, and it was finally made possible with the help of Associate Executive Director for Communication & Public Affairs Robert King early this semester.
“We wanted more ways to connect with students,” Norton said. “Rather than sending out information through email after email, we should connect the way they choose to connect with each other, and Twitter is one of those ways.”
Along with being able to connect better and more efficiently with students at Slippery Rock, Norton said she also wants to learn about students as people, and connecting with them in this way, she believes, is a great way to do just that. Norton herself wants the students to learn about her, as well, but not so much that it’s overwhelming. Norton also said that her main reason for sending Tweets out to her more than 500 followers, especially when she is out at events on campus, is for students to see it and connect with her in person.
“I try to send out a message when I’m at an activity on campus so that students will see it and say, ‘oh, President Norton’s at the football game, let’s go over and say hi,'” Norton said.
President Norton is now the fifth University President out of the 14 state universities to have a Twitter account and to be communicating with students in this way; the concept of public social media is still a new, emerging idea for University Presidents in the state and in general. Norton does not plan on creating more public social media.
“Right now, I’m pleased with what we’re trying to do with the Twitter account,” Norton said. “Although personally, I still prefer email as my primary communication source.”
Upon learning that most clubs and organizations on campus have their own official Twitter accounts, Norton hopes to attend more events and activities on campus.