How social media can help students value local government

Copyright: 2nix / 123RF Stock Photo

By Sara Schmachtenberger, Public Communications Intern

Since it’s a presidential election year, most of us are focused on national politics and the fascinating nature of the race for the White House. Local government isn’t nearly as captivating, so it’s easy to underestimate the impact it has on our daily lives.

College students are typically preoccupied with rigorous course loads and one or more student organizations. Considering that many of us only live here long enough to get our degrees, it’s understandable if we pay little attention to the local government.

With our busy schedules, what do we have to gain by keeping up with what’s going on in College Station?

Quite a bit, as it turns out.

When I started an internship in the city’s Public Communications Office this spring, I took the time to explore the city’s website. I was surprised to discover how much I didn’t know that I probably should.

For example, many students are unaware of the city’s “no more than four” ordinance, which means no more than four unrelated people are allowed to live in a single housekeeping unit. Obviously, that’s something students should know as they arrange for off-campus housing.

Since most students live on tight budgets, costly fines for code violations are more than minor annoyances. These violations are easily avoidable if you know about basic city ordinances.

Fortunately, social media has made it simple to stay informed. Since most college students are active on at least one social media platform, clicking “follow” or “like” makes staying in the loop easier than ever.

You may also discover that the City of College Station offers recreational and educational opportunities, as well as free concerts and other events. They have free classes on how to ace interviews and look professional on a budget, ballroom dancing lessons, pottery and stained glass art sessions, and other unique experiences you won’t find on campus.

You may even find a part-time job.

The city’s Facebook and Twitter accounts also provide timely traffic and weather alerts. The Police Department even uses social media to help identify and apprehend criminal suspects.

Thanks to the internet and social media, we have access to more information than ever before. The American Press Institute reports that an astounding 88 percent of millennials say they use Facebook as a news source.

College students can obviously benefit from knowing what’s happening in town even if we won’t live here for long. Through the city’s various social media pages, we can learn about changes that affect us, opportunities that benefit us, and information that keeps us safe.

City of College Station Social Media:

10407688_556394601163628_4469248091500421291_nAbout the Author

Sara Schmachtenberger is completing a spring internship in the Public Communications Office. A native of San Antonio, she is on track to graduate from Texas A&M in August with a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in business administration. 


Photo Credit: 2nix / 123RF Stock Photo

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