What Did We Find?

Overall, three major themes emerged from our interview data:

• Students generally agree that social media acts as a real-time news source for campus events and occurrences.
• When it comes to race and diversity, social media posts are used to create awareness. These attempts to raise awareness can be broken down into three subcategories: posts to organize, posts to teach, and posts to reflect.
• Students have conflicting beliefs about social media’s ability to facilitate productive dialogue about sensitive issues, such as race and diversity.

Alongside these interview themes were three main content analysis findings:

• When students post about UCLA’s campus climate, it is more likely specifically to be about the racial climate rather than the campus climate writ large.
• When students post about race/ethnicity, it is most likely to be about a negative experience.
• When students post about race/ethnicity, it is most frequently aimed at teaching and informing peers about issues of racial/ethnic insensitivity.

How can the Findings Inform Practice?

Findings from this study suggest that student-led social media pages aimed at teaching and informing the broader UCLA campus about racial diversity can be used as one means of improving campus racial climate. While these particular social media pages would be designed to keep students abreast of pertinent issues of racial discrimination, structural oppression, and inclusivity, alternative student-led pages could additionally be designed to foster dialogue between Bruin internet users and the page administrators. In these latter social media pages, student leaders with extensive experience in intergroup dialogue and social media usage would facilitate moderated conversations with peers that come to the site seeking advice, information, or insight on race-related issues.




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