URI junior uses social media to enhance student experience

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Sabrina Araujo at her office in the Memorial Union. ©2016 The University of Rhode Island / Nora Lewis

Kingston, R.I. — January 31, 2017 — Junior communications major Sabrina Araujo of Jamestown, R.I. has taken student involvement to a whole new level at the University of Rhode Island. Now serving as the digital marketing and communication specialist of the URI Memorial Union and founder of the very popular Instagram blog “URI Events,” she focuses on promoting student involvement, resources, and events on campus.

At the beginning of Araujo’s sophomore year, she was determined to become involved in URI. To keep up with all the events on campus, she followed several social media accounts of students clubs and organizations, but she realized that keeping up with several accounts was difficult. “I always heard students say, ‘There isn’t much to do on campus,’ and I would think to myself, ‘Yes there is! We just aren’t informed about it’.”

Araujo then came up with the idea of creating one source where URI students could learn about all the events on campus. She created “URI Events,” an Instagram blog where students learn about concerts, festivals, giveaways, new student clubs, philanthropy events, and many other activities. Today, “URI Events” is a club with a full team of students that creates new content and manages the account.

Sabrina Araujo, center with phone, chatting with students (left to right) Esoheosa Igbineweka from Teaneck, N.J, Ro Percy from Pawtucket, R.I, Ryan Buck from Wallingford, C.T, and Amanda Stikeman from Derry, N.H. ©2016 The University of Rhode Island / Nora Lewis

With more than 4,300 followers, “URI Events” is the must-follow Instagram account for students who want to stay in the know. “I did not expect it to grow this much this fast. I guess it shows how much something like this was needed.” says Araujo.

As the success of “URI Events” continued, the Memorial Union’s Marketing and Events Coordinator Sheri Davis was fascinated with the account’s content and the followers’ responses. “I immediately began searching for whoever was responsible for this account,” says Davis.

She met Araujo and offered her a position to oversee the Memorial Union’s social media accounts. “I knew that we needed this kind of content and following for the Union. She brings something new to the table and her opinion is everything to our staff,” says Davis.

When asked how the work has influenced her, Araujo says, “If I hadn’t created URI Events and worked for the Memorial Union, I wouldn’t have explored my creativity and potential. I’ve learned more about myself than ever before. As a student, as a professional, and even personally. I have the opportunity to have a creative imagination and use a platform where thousands of people can experience it with me.”

In regards to life after graduation, Araujo hopes to work in the digital marketing field and have URI Events continue on its own with new students.

Josh Reyes, an intern at URI Department of Marketing and Communications and a Public Relations major, wrote this release.