Younger students ditch Facebook for Schoology to organize events

Facebook remains forum of choice with older grades for its freedoms

Emma Trone, Sports Editor

Facebook has long dominated as the preferred social and informational platform of U-High, but underclassmen are increasingly turning away from Facebook to other platforms such as  Schoology.

Freshman Cultural Union representative Destiney Williamson said although most freshmen didn’t have Facebook accounts going into the school year, freshmen athletes and club members created accounts to stay up-to-date with team and club information.

Destiney Williamson

“I really only got a Facebook for Student Council, because it felt like if I didn’t have one I would be unaware of everything that was happening,” Destiney said. “I thought it was important to have to really stay in the loop.”

Olivia Issa, a senior, said Facebook has been an invaluable platform for communicating information about Refugee Club, which she leads. The club uses a Facebook group to communicate with the larger U-High community about weekly club meetings and events, as well as smaller Messenger group chats to make plans.

Despite some difficulties in reaching the sizable number of freshmen who don’t have Facebook, Olivia said it’s still the most effective way to reach the student body.

Olivia Issa

“Schoology’s just so much harder to navigate than Facebook,” Olivia said. “And there’s so much freedom with Facebook, because there’s less pressure to look professional all the time. You can say stuff that you know will hype people up, without being embarrassed about your math teacher seeing it.”

Dean of Students Ana Campos said that since Schoology is heavily used in the middle school, younger students have been more willing to embrace the platform. Currently, the three clubs that most frequently use Schoology pages are the Wildlife Conservation Club, Launch Club and Maker Club, all of which are led by underclassmen.

“We’ve had a Schoology page since the beginning of this year, and we’ve done posts there as a way of communicating” Jeremy Ng, president of Launch Club said. “At the beginning of the year, especially with the freshmen, not many people had Facebook, so Schoology was the only way to send messages to them, Schoology also allowed us to keep our faculty sponsor updated on all the different events we were doing.”

Ms. Campos said students in the younger grades use Schoology like Facebook.

“They’re able interact with each other and their teachers over their classes, and ask questions and that sort of thing,” she said.

Ms. Campos said Schoology has been useful for the administration and Student Council to inform and interact with not only the student body, but faculty members such as advisers and counselors.

“What I really appreciate about Schoology is that we can both send messages to the entire community through the main U-High section, but that we can also tailor messages to specific grades, so people’s inboxes aren’t constantly full,” Ms. Campos said. “For the grade-level Schoology groups, it’s not just students, but also the advisers in those groups, and the school counselors, so that way everyone is kept in the loop.”

Junior Daniel Garfinkle believes that the upperclassman reliance on Facebook is misguided.

“I don’t think we should have an external social media platform that’s specifically known for stealing people’s information to be a requirement to feel a sense of community,” Daniel said. “I think for most classes people are already checking Schoology, so using Schoology more socially is a convenient way to communicate to a large number of people. I’m fine with also using Facebook, but it shouldn’t be the exclusive place where people communicate about things at school.”