Watch out for Facebook posts from the head honcho of the Hilltop himself in the next few weeks. In a further effort to facilitate communication with the university community, Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia joined Facebook last Wednesday, according to Associate Vice President for Communications Julie Bataille.
“In this space, you will learn more about the privilege I have of representing Georgetown in many different contexts, whether here on the Hilltop, in the city of Washington, D.C., or in various locations around the world,” reads a statement from DeGioia visible on the Welcome page of his profile.
Categorized as a “public figure” on Facebook, the page is labeled “Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia.” The page maintains a constant hodgepodge of Georgetown-related information, ranging from links to events involving the president or university, including Ignatius Seminars, to a recent women’s lacrosse game and The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which DeGioia will be attending this week. The site also provides contact information and a brief biography of DeGioia.
In a meeting with university press on Jan. 14, DeGioia said that the page would be an effort to increase transparency, a sentiment echoed by Bataille.
“President DeGioia understands that Facebook can be a powerful medium for him to share news, ideas and insights that may be of interest to the extended Georgetown community,” Bataille said.
At press time, 357 people were listed as “liking” the page.
With over 20,000 likes to the page, Georgetown University itself has had a Facebook page for a few years, as have many of the university’s divisions, organizations, schools and classes. Many other U.S. universities, including fellow D.C. schools American University and The George Washington University, also have Facebook pages, though neither has a separate page for the university president.
DeGioia is not alone in creating a page, however. A handful of other presidents, including Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis and Florida State University President Eric Barron have also joined the social networking site.
Universities across the country have also been making a concerted effort to increase their exposure through other popular websites, including YouTube and Twitter. Georgetown currently maintains both a Twitter account and a YouTube channel.
Not every student will be liking DeGioia’s page immediately.
“I’m extremely stingy with things I want appearing in my newsfeed,” Austin Yoder (COL ’11) said.
Tory Pratt (SFS ’11) agreed but saw the merits of the page’s various tidbits about Georgetown.
“I don’t really use Facebook enough to like a lot of things,” Pratt said. “But I guess it would be more of an information source.”
Georgetown students might see updates on the president’s page in their newsfeed this weekend, as Bataille said that new posts would come — live from Switzerland.