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#SAchat Gives Back, One Retweet at a Time
November 4, 2012 - 8:12pm

The #SAchat hashtag is the longest running hashtag for Student Affairs professionals. It is our digital cafeteria for 140 character conversations, informational postings, and a weekly chat. Sometimes it is easy to forget just how many people are connected via the now 3-year-old hashtag. Last week when Hurricane Sandy was wreaking havoc in the Caribbean, and the East Coast of the United States, Twitter was a gathering place for questions, support, answers, and connection.

On Friday night last week, NBC put on a benefit concert to help raise money for people who were affected by Sandy. One of the ways that you could donate to the Red Cross was via iTunes. Without hesitation, I picked up my iPad, opened iTunes, and donated. After donating, I continued watching the concert while reading tweets on my iPad when I noticed this post from Wimer Alberto, Resident Director at Binghamton University:

Inspired by a tweet that Shigeo Iwamiya, Director of Residence Life at Rutgers University - Newark, had posted earlier in the day on Friday, Wimer had started a movement on #SAchat.

Normally, I don't use the non-editable retweet on Twitter, but this was different. I retweeted Wimer's tweet and then did something impulsive, I posted this:

The tricky part was that people started retweeting both of our tweets. Kim Brown, Assistant Director of Alumni Programs for Syracuse University Career Services, received 44 retweets as she forwarded the message:

Mike Mullen, Vice Chancellor and Dean for Academic & Student Affairs at NC State University, jumped in and offered to match retweets too:

The final tally, as of Sunday night, of retweets was 800. Wimer's original post generated 465 retweets! My "matching" tweet was retweeted 155 times. Shigeo's tweet from Friday afternoon came in at 88 retweets. Kim and Mike had about the same number of retweets with 44 and 48 between them. Twitter might not be the perfect vehicle for this type of activity, but the support of folks who shared tweets via #SAchat was phenomenal.

Note that I really wasn't sure how to accurately count tweets as it didn't seem fair that so many folks had retweeted my tweet when Wimer and Shigeo were the true sparks that got things rolling. I ended up adding all of the retweets up and giving that amount. It seemed like that was the right thing to do. Wimer, Shigeo, and Mike -- thank you for your generosity and spirit.


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