Students launch ‘UD Hub’

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Rob Sherron, Contributing Writer

Senior Blake Ballard and junior Cooper Johnston recently brought a new University of Dallas page to your friendly, neighborhood Facebook: “The UD Hub.”

67924_463358497034150_43151930_nTheir mission for the page is simple. “We wanted something that could keep students connected to everything at UD,” said Ballard. “The problem right now is there is a lack of knowledge about what events are going on. We wanted it to create an active schedule for students at UD. Before, you had to go to a stall to figure out what was happening.”

UD has struggled over the last few years in its efforts to reach students through the Internet.

“We have a problem at UD where no one really checks their email address. You get assaulted [with] ‘CHECK OUT THIS, CHECK OUT THIS!’ and you delete all of them,” Ballard said.

“We wanted to avoid that mass impact of [receiving] everything at the same time. We bring out a schedule every week, so you can see what’s going on, and [we] send out a reminder a couple of hours before.”

The Hub also aims to avoid the fragmentation that plagued previous efforts to keep students up-to-date on different campus events.

“One of the problems UD Hub is trying to solve [is that] previously, you had different Facebook pages for every organization, so one of our goals is to streamline everything,” Ballard added.

The page’s Facebook presence – as well as its student management – could help the Hub to reach out to a more diverse array of students.

Last year, Student Activities launched (although has yet to begin to market) OrgSync, an alternate social network for students to connect with clubs and organizations. The Hub’s presence on a social site that students already use could allow students who do not use OrgSync to receive updates as well.

“The UD Hub goes beyond the purpose and capabilities of Org Sync. In the short six weeks of the Hub’s existence, we have posted videos, student interviews, Rome photos from the most recent Rome class and photos from events the day they happen,” Johnston said. “The UD Hub isn’t trying to be the new Org Sync or even to be a better version. Rather, it aims to offer a more streamlined source of information and keep all students, past, present and future up to date and entertained.”

Additionally, Ballard and Johnston hope the site will be helpful for prospective students.

“Part of what we want to do with UD Hub is for prospective students to feel like they’re already going here. We want to use social media to help freshman volunteers connect to prospective students; if we get them to ‘like’ it, they’ll be receiving updates, pictures, news about what’s happening, and they’ll feel like they’re already here. They’ll get a sense of what we’re all about.”

If you want to keep up with UD events, go to Facebook and “like” The UD Hub. 382 people already have.

Louis Hannegan & Will Chavey contributed to the reporting and writing of this article.

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