The tweeting university president: ‘Students love it’

Elevated suddenly into the presidency of Ohio’s second-largest university, president Santa J. Ono hit the ground running — and tweeting.

University of Cincinnati’s president uses Twitter to weigh in on food, music, sports, and pop culture in general — everything from Rihanna to Pokemon.

Now in his second year as president of the University of Cincinnati, Ono sometimes seems as if he’s everywhere — tossing out T-shirts at football games, surprising freshmen by helping them move into their dorms, setting up chairs for an evening student gathering.

Interacting on social media around the clock furthers the perception.

In recent days, he used Twitter to provide updates on everything from how UC did on an annual national ranking of U.S. colleges to the score of the Bearcat rugby team’s victory. He replied to a student on places to find the Cleveland Browns’ game on TV, and to an anxious father on how his daughter could request a security escort late at night.

He weighs in on food, music, sports, and pop culture in general  — everything from Rihanna to Pokemon.

And, in the wake of a car accident that claimed the life of a Cincinatti freshman offensive lineman and injured two other players, he tweeted words of encouragement and support to the student body.

“Students love it,” said Joe Blizzard, 22, the student body president. “We’re in a day and age now when anything and everything can be on social media. He’s really willing to interact with anyone.”

As a vice provost at Emory University, Ono realized students were more likely to respond to a text message than voicemail.

He started using Facebook and then, after joining UC as provost, he setup a Twitter account. After his predecessor resigned for personal reasons just before the 2012-13 school year began, Ono was named president of the school of nearly 44,000 students.

See Page 2 to learn of the dangers that come with a high-profile Twitter presence.

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