Staff Editorial 9/18: Chartwells should show its real face

Since August, tweets from @UM_Chartwells have been appearing in students’ news feeds. The Twitter page is one of the more popular campus-related social media accounts with 314 followers.

The University of Miami is no stranger to social media. This April, UM was ranked eighth on StudentAdvisor.com’s list of “top social media colleges.” The ranking was based on how well the university, along with its departments and corresponding divisions, used Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, among other outlets, to keep in touch with students.

UM has more than 30 Facebook pages, 29 Twitter pages, eight YouTube accounts and five RSS feeds. Departments like admissions, athletics, UM police, each school and its library, the alumni association and student media – including The Miami Hurricane – each have their own accounts.

However, @UM_Chartwells is an unofficial representation of Chartwells, and is not affiliated with UM. The account is merely an elaborate parody.

But here’s the surprise – did you know that UM’s Chartwells food service does have a social media presence? If you didn’t know this, you’re not alone. The Dining Services Department’s Twitter page only has 31 followers and has not been highly promoted. The department’s Facebook page is equally unpopular with only a mere 92 likes. Neither are particularly informative, and the few number of people aware of them shows social media has yet to be taken advantage of by our dining services.

While @UM_Chartwells is amusing to us, it is an insult to the real Chartwells. But it’s hard to lay blame when even the official Chartwells Twitter account is languishing in anonymity. If Chartwells were to advertise menus on Facebook or ask for feedback on Twitter, they would undoubtedly gain more followers who seek official information.

Granted, @UMDining first tweeted in August, so it may take time for the dining service to get a feel for the medium. Hopefully, we can look forward to our dining halls having a presence on these sites, instead of settling for jabs by an anonymous person. Even if @UM_Chartwells makes us laugh, let’s hope the official dining service takes their own social media outlets by the reins.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

September 18, 2011


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