Hamline continues to roll out participation in Merit, a website that allows students to create a digital record of their college achievements, this time by enrolling first-years.
“It builds a digital online presence for students that they can then put in their LinkedIn or refer people to or even just remember,” said Christine Weeks, a Public Relations and Communications Specialist who was instrumental in the formation of this program. “I think after four years it’s sometimes hard to remember all your accomplishments. So it’s a tool.”
Merit also assists in sharing with student’s hometown newspapers their accomplishments as well as making the sharing of achievements more convenient on social media.
Last year the Communications Office, which is part of the Office of Marketing and Communication, had an opt-in policy for participation in Merit. However, there were more hoops to jump through for both Merit and Hamline by having opting-in versus automatic enrollment.
Prior to these changes, everything was submitted via paper form. The Communications Office received very few of these forms. Merit allows for a quicker, more convenient obtaining and sharing of this information.
If any first-year students do not want to be a part of this website, they can go onto Merit themselves and opt out, or send an email to media relations.
“The importance in it that I see is that it helps you upgrade your resume,” first-year Cecilia Andrade Retana said, “and it is a thing for mental health, it is a good reminder to see all that you have done.”
First-year Cati Varichak said automatic enrollment in Merit made sense to her.
“I don’t see the downside in it,” Varichak said.
The Communications Office has been advertising Merit more this year than in years past, but some first-year students are still unaware of what this website is and everything it is about.
“I don’t really know what [Merit] is,” first-year Gaonou Here shared. “I think I received an email about my name and Hamline from Merit.”
Merit is not the only way the Office of Communications informs the public of students and their successes. They also issue press releases and social media posts to help get the word out about student accomplishments.
“I think Hamline students do amazing things and we need to, for lack of a better word, shout about those things, not just on campus but off-campus, because the more accomplishments that people outside the university know about, the more Hamline will become known,” said Weeks, “Those type of reputational things open doors for people.”
Transfer students new to Hamline this year but not first-year standing must opt-in to Merit, a policy they previously had for all students until the automatic enrollment of first-year students began.
“The goal is that eventually everyone on campus will be part of it,” Weeks said.
To share any news and accomplishments personally or to ask any questions, email Christine Weeks at email@example.com
Website to Merit: https://hamline.meritpages.com/