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MTSU launches Campus Life as ultimate student reso...

MTSU launches Campus Life as ultimate student resource [+VIDEO]

MTSU recently launched the Campus Life website — mtsu.edu/campuslifeas a one-stop spot for students to learn about all that campus has to offer from events, to organizations, to dining and student services information.

Justin Reed, production manager for MTSU's Department of Theatre and Dance

Justin Reed

Surveys conducted in the fall by the Division of Student Affairs showed that students wanted to get more involved on campus but found that was often spread across multiple websites and social media pages, said Justin Reed, director of student unions.

“But they (students) were frustrated with all the different places that they had to go to find the information,” Reed said.

Jackie Victory, director of student organizations and service, added that the need for improved communication only grew with the onset of COVID-19 because pandemic updates happened so frequently.

Jackie Victory

Jackie Victory

“We learned that the virus can bring changes to programs, club meetings, dining and more at the drop of a hat,” Victory said. “We were always trying to get information to students quickly or trying to update information that might have changed. Allowing one place for those programs allows us to ensure that information that is around campus is accurate when changes happen quickly.”

Recognizing that the campus community needed a streamlined and organized place to access information, Student Affairs launched the Campus Life initiative in January, Reed said.

“Campus Life gives them a centrally located space that they can go to and find out not only about events and activities on campus (but) how to get involved in clubs and organizations, how to become a part of the student leadership teams across campus,” he said. “It’s all in one place.”

Masked and socially distanced Middle Tennessee State University students enjoyed the Disney Pixar film “Onward” under the stars on Sept. 11, 2020, on campus, one of many campus events that students can now learn about on the new Campus Life webpage on mtsu.edu. (MTSU file photo Cat Curtis Murphy).

Masked and socially distanced Middle Tennessee State University students enjoy the Disney Pixar film “Onward” under the stars on Sept. 11, 2020, on campus, one of many campus events that students can now learn about on the new Campus Life webpage on mtsu.edu. (MTSU file photo Cat Curtis Murphy)

The student-centered design and configuration of the initiative sets it apart. A team of students, faculty and staff collaborated to curate calendars and pages with information students want most, Reed explained.

“We’re trying to make it really simple for students to find out where to go, what to do, where to eat,” he said.

“For example, we brought an Athletics calendar into the Campus Life page,” Reed explained. “It takes you straight to the calendar…. We put food as one of our top links because when you’re on campus, that’s a big thing. The link takes you straight to the page with all of the dining facilities and the hours that they are open.”

The Colleges of Basic and Applied Sciences and Liberal Arts at Middle Tennessee State University hosted a mural painting event Sept. 22, 2020, on campus. Information for events like these can now be found on the university’s new Campus Life webpage. (MTSU file photo by James Cessna)

The Colleges of Basic and Applied Sciences and Liberal Arts at Middle Tennessee State University host a mural painting event Sept. 22, 2020, on campus. Information for events like these can now be found on the university’s new Campus Life webpage. (MTSU file photo by James Cessna)

The team took the same approach when assembling the events and involvement calendars, too.

The Campus Life webpage, Facebook and Instagram are not just for current students either. They can be used by potential students as well, Victory said.

“When you are shopping for a school, you want to know the entire picture from academics to involvement and campus life,” she said.

The student perspective

Caroline Haynes, a Lebanon, Tennessee, native and senior agribusiness major, works with the initiative team to provide a student’s perspective and input.

“The best part about Campus Life is its purpose is to directly impact the students and make their time at MTSU the best it can be,” Haynes said. “Although Campus Life just launched, it’s already provided easier access to all things student related. When you look at our website, all the resources you could need are at a click of a button.”

Caroline Haynes

Caroline Haynes

Haynes highlighted the benefits of following the initiative both on the webpage and the social media accounts.

“We are hoping to have some giveaways coming up,” Haynes said. “That way we can bring in more students.… It’s easier (to follow on social) than going on the website every day to check what’s (happening) on campus. This way you can stay informed and might win something as well.”

Reed added that Instagram, especially, will update students with campus happenings in real time.

“We’re planning to use Instagram (to show) ‘This is happening right now. If you’re on campus and you’re around, come check it out,’” Reed said.

Middle Tennessee State University students participated in the 2020 Homecoming Picnic and Cake Walk outside the Recreation Center in October 2020, one of many events that students can now learn about through the new Campus Life initiative. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

Middle Tennessee State University students participate in the 2020 Homecoming Picnic and Cake Walk outside the Recreation Center in October 2020, one of many events that students can now learn about through the new Campus Life initiative. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

Haynes noted that students can peruse the mixture of virtual and on-campus events — such as the Winter Wonderland event, complete with a synthetic ice rink, or an upcoming free online cooking class, she said. They can learn about clubs and organizations, job and leadership postings and counseling and academic support.

“There is something for everyone,” she said.

To get fully immersed in the campus experience, visit the Campus Life webpage and follow their Facebook and Instagram accounts for information and giveaways.

— Stephanie Barrette (Stephanie.Barrette@mtsu.edu)

The Campus Life initiative, recently launched on the MTSU website, is a one-stop webpage for information on all campus events and activities.

The Campus Life initiative, recently launched on the MTSU website, is a one-stop webpage for information on all campus events and activities.


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