A new college-only space on Facebook called Facebook Campus is now eligible for Iowa State students to join as it continues to roll out to schools across the country.
Facebook Campus offers students the ability to connect with classmates, find student organizations, clubs, events and create group chats for dorms, classes or other groups. Users will also have a short Campus profile, only visible to other Campus users, that can include information such as one’s major and hometown.
Both current and incoming students can enroll on Facebook in the program by using their verified Iowa State email address.
Charmain Hung, a product manager at Facebook, explained that Facebook was coming back to its roots by featuring a college-only section.
“Facebook has always had deep roots in college,” Hung said. “It was started in a dorm room by a college student. Being able to see students and relevant updates for your school is what helped people feel closer to their school and community, which is what drew so many people to Facebook in the first place. When you look at it now, you see people’s networks have really ballooned. People have a lot of friends on Facebook now, and it's really not the close college community that Facebook was when it first started. That's what we really wanted to go back to with Campus.”
While Campus can be very useful for incoming and newer students, there are still benefits and future features for older students.
“For juniors and seniors, we know you may already have met your friends and have your own community already,” Hung said. “Some of the things we are thinking about is helping people ask questions about jobs or if they're moving to a new city and can see which of their classmates are going to be in their new city as well.”
Hung also mentioned that older students also can give back and help younger students with questions about class recommendations and other college life questions.
While Campus users are limited to only college students, some schools can directly view Campus with the ability to create events and announcements.
“We created Campus to be mostly for students and for them to be able to create groups and events,” Hung said. “But with some universities, we do have a partnership we’ve created with them, and for those schools, they have the ability to view Campus, make announcement channels and official events in the space as well.”
While Iowa State does not currently have that partnership, Hung said Facebook teams are reaching out to schools they’ve recently launched with to discuss the partnership.
Some students have already joined Facebook Campus, with Iowa State’s Campus having several hundred students already enrolled. Jack Loutsch, a senior in biological systems engineering, has started using Campus and enjoys the convenience of already having a Facebook account.
“Setting up groups and chats for class is more accessible than GroupMe and Discord," Loutsch said. "Also, finding people with similar majors is interesting and useful.”