Checking In

The other week, I attended an in-service training for academic advisors on my campus. The session was held in the MSU Museum, a building that I had, sadly, never entered. Now, in my defense, this campus is frickin’ huge. There are multiple buildings I have never set foot in, but I am disappointed in myself for never visiting the Museum (which hosts a killer chocolate party benefit every year from what I hear).

When I walked up the steps, I got a chuckle out of the fact that the Museum has a Foursquare check-in sign on the front door. Historical artifacts and social networking weren’t an automatic for me, but I am glad to see forward thinking on the part of the museum. At that moment, I was disappointed that I couldn’t check in. I wasn’t on Foursquare. Despite encouragement from some of my early adopter students (see Nick Lucido) and more recently, my deal savvy staff member, Lauren Gaines, I had never seen the purpose of Foursquare. I was on Facebook, Twitter, loved every Google application I could get my hands on, and I was addicted to my smartphone. I had even read how campuses were using Foursquare or Facebook Places or Layar to introduce new and prospective students to campus – how fantastic!

However, I thought Foursquare was for my students and for those who wanted a free latte at Starbucks. I still wasn’t seeing the impetus for me to try it. However, the MSU Museum moment made me think of how we, as administrators and student affairs professionals, encourage our students to explore and try new things. And here I was, with a perfect opportunity to not only role model stepping outside my comfort zone, but also promote my own campus.

So, I am on Foursquare, and I will head back to the Museum to check in…as soon as I figure out how to check in. How are you using Foursquare to promote your campus to your own students?

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