The Facebook Phenomenon

Currently, junior Abe Cohen is running for Student Government President. While he spends his last few hours campaigning, his Facebook group – along with his VP Candidate Ed Fulton and Governor Candidate Tiffany Weimar – tallies over 400 members who support their views on how to effectively run SG.

“It’s a good way for students to see our platform,” Cohen says. “It’s a good way to see how many people support us.”

Sadly, Cohen and his Voice Party’s Facebook group doesn’t have a platform for students to look at. Instead, they send us to another Web site.

Briana Bragg and her running mate, Jared Stark, are no different. Their YOUnity group site doesn’t have anything specific about what to bring to Student Government. Neither does the site they refer students to for more information: The YOUnity Party’s official Web site.

But the question isn’t about how many members a candidate gets to join a group for support. The question is: does Facebook campaigning actually work?

“Facebook is a great way to reach out to students,” says Jenna Sereni, the current SG Boca House Speaker Pro Tempore. “It’s not only a networking source, it encourages student involvement.”

Current Boca SG Governor, Matthew Jarrett, believes it is a good way to reach the people who elect their representatives.

“The administration’s official correspondence to students is through MyFAU,” Jarrett says. “[Facebook] is one of the better ways to get the word out to students.”

While Jarrett admits to using the social networking site as part of his campaigning last year, he still credits the old-fashioned way as a main strategy.

“I used word of mouth,” he says. “And I also used flyers and posters.”

And while Facebook is still relatively new to student and national campaigns alike, SG Elections supervisor Adam Ferrando assures us that it’s completely legal.

“It’s absolutely allowed,” Ferrando says. “As long as they started campaigning after the last candidate meeting [on Feb. 13].”

For more information about all of the candidates and poll locations on every campus, visit the UP‘s special election page here.