Students are able to log onto their social media accounts like Twitter and Instagram anytime they want on campus. However, something they have never been able to see, before the past year, was their University president tweeting back to them.
President Bob Davies and his Twitter account, @MurrayStatePrez, boast more than 2,000 followers and sustain multiple favorites and retweets by not only Murray State students, but also parents, alumni, faculty, staff and community members.
His Instagram account, of the same handle, has 1,591 followers and averages more than 100 likes per photo posted. Students flood his mentions and comments sections with positive feedback and encouragement to Murray State’s 13th president.
Not only does Davies use his social media accounts to promote Murray State, he uses it as a platform to get to know students.
“The role of a leader of an organization, or a leader in general, it’s about communication,” Davies said. “It’s about putting one’s self out there.”
And put himself out there, he has. Students flock to Davies wherever he goes on campus, from asking for selfies with Murray State’s president to just starting a causal conversation. The same goes for his interactions on Twitter.
“I’ve always kind of followed the Jeffersonian style of leadership, meaning ‘of the people,’” Davies said. “I’ve never believed or thought of myself as ‘leader on high’ but one that embraces others and wanted to never have the higher up dual stances.”
Davies not only supports his students on social media, he supports nearly every student organization that reaches out to him, as well.
From retweeting a tweet talking about a sorority or fraternity rebate night at a local restaurant to posting pictures of the groups he allows to practice for All Campus Sing on the Oakhurst steps, Davies doesn’t let a tweet or a student go unnoticed on social media.
Murray State basketball player Jarvis Williams, senior from Macon, Ga., even took to Twitter to invite Davies to join him for ice cream after Dairy Queen’s seasonal reopening.
Williams and Davies dined on ice cream over Spring Break.
Many students appreciate the feeling of being heard by their University president. To some freshman and new students, the idea of having a University president be so responsive to his students has become a norm, but to students who were here before Davies began his reign, they know Davies is a unique breed.
“The communication, the discussions, the perspectives are always things that I have always tried to see,” Davies said. “Social media is democracy in its finest. It allows individuals to have an amazing voice and access and share perspectives and ideas. It’s just something to me that I believe in. It is such a powerful tool and I enjoy those types of interactions.”
Story by Breanna Sill, Features Editor