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Freedom of Speech Week Explores Social Media

Communication Studies Assistant Professor Jason Stahl, Media Studies Associate Professor Sybril Bennett and Public Relations Instructor Kevin Trowbridge sat on a panel in the Massey Boardroom on Oct. 21 to explore the theme “Public Voice & Social Media” as part of Free Speech Week at Belmont.

They discussed social media’s changing importance in the way society communicates, how new responsibilities accompany new channels and tools, social media expansion, privacy freedoms and the place of social media in the classroom.

Bennett talked about the fears of privacy associated with social media and the direction of the future. She emphasized the importance of being “intentional and responsible” with your online brand since “you want to be the one who manages and facilitates it.”

The discussion ended with students’ questions regarding multitasking in the classroom and the role social media can play in enhancing the student experience. Trowbridge said he believes social media has a role in the classroom but content must be engaging because of its nature and the brevity of messages. Students and professors have to “step up their game and actually engage your audience, whether it’s online or face to face,” he said.

Lambda Pi Eta, the Communication Studies Department and the National Communication Association sponsored the week, which also included a viewing of “The King’s Speech.” The final event is a keynote address on “Public Voice in Public Institutions” by Chalsea Millner of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library at 10 a.m. Oct. 31 in the Massey Boardroom.

 

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