Local university communicating in a 'snap'

CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) - A new smart phone app is making its way onto a local college campus.

According to college-centric marketing company Sumpto, 77 percent of college students use Snapchat every day.

That statistic got the University of Central Arkansas to jump on board.

Freshman Taylor Davis just started following "UCABEARS" on Snapchat today. He says, "I think it's pretty cool such a big university is willing to communicate with little old me. It'll help freshman year go a lot smoother."

The university kicked off the school year with UCA President Tom Courtway sending students a welcome Snapchat. In the snap he said, "I cannot wait for move-in day on August 17th. Go bears!"

Since this first snap was sent out, UCA has acquired 450 followers.

Sophomore Emily Lowery says, "It's faster and you get to take videos and it's fun and creative."

Another thing that makes Snapchat so unique is it's a two way street of communication. One way students can take advantage of that is while they're on campus, they can send a video of themselves and send it directly to UCA administration.

Katie Talburt is the face behind the "UCABEARS" account. She says, "I feel like they are communicating back with me and that's something we really wanted. We wanted the students to feel like they had a voice."

Talburt says communication from the app has been successful so far, but she's prepared for what risks come with having such a personable connection to students.

"Let's say a student is drinking and they send a snap of that. I screen shot everything I receive," said Talburt, who plans on holding all students who send her Snapchats, both good and bad, accountable for their actions. She adds, "This reminds the students that just because you send something out on Snapchat, it doesn't disappear."

So far though, the Snapchats from students have been nothing but positive.

"It's just showing us that they're proud too, and with that I hope to grow Snapchat and grow UCA," said Talburt.

UCA says if the app continues to be a success, they will consider sending out college acceptance letters via Snapchat.

Some universities across the country have already started doing this, including the University of Michigan and University of Kansas.


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