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Cañada College Pi Day Celebration Contingent on Facebook Fans

Cañada College needs to reach 1000 fans for student government officials to be pie’d in the face.

Correction: The original article printed that the College of San Mateo's Facebook had fewer fans than Cañada College, when in fact they have over 2,700 fans.

Happy Pi Day! Today is March 14 and it has mathematicians around the world celebrating nature’s favorite number.

In the theme of the spirit, three officers from the Associated Students of Cañada College have voluntarily offered to be pie’d on St. Patrick’s Day. The Associated Students of Cañada College (ASCC) is the official student government organization of Cañada College.

The catch? The Cañada College Facebook page needs to have 1000 people “like” their page.

If you’re not familiar with all this Facebook lingo, to “like’ a page requires a simple click of a button at the top of their Facebook page. It signifies that you literally, and digitally, “like” Cañada College.

“Students love technology and we’re catering to that,” said ASCC President Darnell Spellman. “We’re using this campaign as a way for people to connect to Cañada College through Facebook.”

If the Facebook page gathers just 15 more fans by Thursday, Spellman, Vice President Jonathan Werden and Commissioner of Publicity Ada Alexander will each receive 10 pies in the face, according to student administrator Alle Rayna.

Creating Facebook pages is a trend that can be seen throughout colleges. Many schools around the area, including Skyline College and the College of San Mateo also have Facebook pages. Skyline College has nearly 500 fans while the College of San Mateo has over 2,700 fans.

“It’s a digital generation,” said Cañada College Marketing Director Robert Hood. “It’s another way to communicate to students because many students’ email inboxes just get overloaded.”

Hood added that students check their Facebooks multiple times a day so he posts three to four messages daily, such as announcements about degree and commencement information.

By having nearly 1000 fans, Hood and college officials ensure that these short messages will show up on their fans' “News feeds,” a compilation of the most recent posts by all their friends. Whether they get read or not is the question.

“What really drives our page is linking stories about our students,” Hood said. “Because then they link the stories on their own pages and their friends see it. It’s how social media is communicating to students.”

He said it was a great way to communicate to students because it’s a format they’re familiar with and that all their friends use. Text messages, however, are out of the question, he said. Students don't want to receive text messages unless it's an absolute emergency, according to students' survey responses.

"They feel like its an invasion of privacy," Hood said.

With new social media start-ups forming every day, he said it's difficult to determin what is the best medium to deliver information to students.

“It’s a bit of a strain on the communication department as we try to keep up with all the technology,” Hood said. “But it keeps us on our toes.”

Spellman said that increasing communication between the college and students was just one of the things that the ASCC helps with.

“I’m proud that the general student body is taking more interest in student government,” Spellman said. “They want more from us and we’re working to make a difference.

The ASCC supports events like the March in March, which helped fund costs for sending a bus of 27 students to Sacramento today to protest the budget cuts for community colleges.

“I told our elected officials that we have to consider the entire student body when using funds for this,” Spellman said. “Because they would want us to do this.”

In addition to fun Finals Study Break events, the ASCC also recruits for qualified candidates to serve as a student trustee to work with the San Mateo Community College Districts.  

“We want people to know that we do more than just fun events,” Spellman said. “And maybe being pie’d in the face will send this message that we’re serious about communicating to the entire student body.”

Beverley Madden March 15, 2011 at 09:38 PM
Just to set the record straight College of San Mateo has over 2700 fans. I like your event; much success!
Stacie Chan (Editor) March 15, 2011 at 09:42 PM
Thank you for pointing that out, Beverley! Facebook can be tricky, and just doing a "search" of "College of San Mateo" doesn't directly lead you to the actual page. I stand corrected.

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