Residence advisors get social media training

    Session helped RAs understand social media as tool. (Tom Bateman/AQ)

    Residence advisors at St. Thomas University have added a new skill to their arsenal – social media awareness.

    As part of their regular training in January, RAs received a social media session from David Shipley, the University of New Brunswick’s senior web content developer. The session included Facebook and Twitter training.

    Kelly Hogg, one of STU’s residence managers, said the session was not in response to any incidents involving social media.

    She said residence life thought the training would be interesting and relevant.

    “More and more people are using social media in their daily lives and we just thought that was one thing the RAs would be interested in,” said Hogg.

    Hogg said the session included instruction on using social media as a tool, from planning house events to answering questions residents might have. There was also information on social media safety, such as being aware of what is posted.

    “We want them to be aware of the dangers, like posting personal information.”

    Amanda Lloyd, an RA in Chatham Hall, says the session also taught RAs how to make their Facebook look good for an employer.

    “You might as well accept it, embrace it, and use it as something positive,” said Lloyd, adding that Chatham has its own Facebook group, which is used for general reminders and information about house and wing bonding, among other things.

    An RA’s level of involvement with social media is his or her own decision, Hogg said.

    “We have some that aren’t involved and others that could give us a lesson.”

    She said the basic job of an RA has remained the same over the years despite other changes that have occurred, including the rise of popularity in sites like Facebook and Twitter.

    In addition to their training in January, which happened before residents returned, RAs received training throughout the year, including a week-and a-half long session in August