Instant Answers from SF State
days a week, from 4 to 7 p.m., Voltaire Villanueva (B.A.,
'94) fields dozens of questions that flash across his computer
screen. How hard is it to get into the nursing program? Why do I
have to take the ELT but my friend doesn't? Did the University receive
my transcripts? The fast-typing admissions counselor has answers
at the ready.
Would-be students send messages by clicking a button on the University's
new page on MySpace.com. In the fall Villanueva led SF State in joining
a small but growing number of colleges and universities that have an
official presence on the popular social networking Web site. The pilot
project is the latest way for prospective students to receive answers
to most any SF State-related question -- instantly.
Unlike sending an e-mail or leaving a voice-mail message, instant messaging
through the MySpace page provides immediate confirmation that a query
has been received. In addition to Villanueva, three student employees
who have a presence on the page also field questions and post blogs
about campus life. The SF State MySpace page also includes a link to
E-mail may have been the most effective way to reach students five years
ago, but Villanueva, who also works as a counselor at Cappuccino High
School, finds that students' parents are the ones who use e-mail today.
"Young people are much more likely to be found instant messaging
on their computers and cell phones," he says. "Students may
come from a family with economic hardships, but they still have iPods
and cell phones -- and they're always using them."
To keep up with the changes in technology, SF State has also posted
a free podcast version of its campus tour on iTunes, making a tour possible
More than half of all Internet users ages 12 to 17 spend time on social
networking Web sites, according to a new national survey of teenagers
conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. This pattern
may explain the positive response Villanueva receives when he visits
local high schools. "When I tell them we have a MySpace page, they
clap," he says.
To visit the University's MySpace page, go to www.myspace.com/asksfsu