By RYAN MCGRATH
Through the use of social media, a spark of unity has been ignited within Ramapo College’s music community. The Facebook group, Jamapo, is a page that provides students with the opportunity to makes connections with one another through sharing their common interests and passions towards music.
Members of the Jamapo group page can openly post to search for interested musicians to play with on campus as well as sharing music they’ve created.
“The best part of the group is that you can post, ‘Jam in Pine lounge, fourth floor’ and people will show up,” said freshman David Barbosa, 18, who is the mastermind behind creating the group; prior to the beginning of the Fall semester. “It’s an easy way to get people out of the isolation in their dorm room and interact with other musicians.”
Sites like Facebook continue to introduce and expand on convenient means to help people network. According to Social Media Marketing Blogger Jeff Bulla, the average Facebook user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events.
By finding common ground within the community, most users would turn to creating Facebook groups as an active message board forum to organize ideas. Especially within the college community, Facebook groups become beneficial for campus organizations to plan events and build communities.
“That is the true beauty of social media. You don’t have to start day one of school feeling like you won’t fit in because you can form relationships with people online and continue these relationships in person,” Barbosa said.
Most members of Jamapo, including freshman Gabrielle Perone, had no problems with making new friends outside of Jamapo.
“A ton of my friends came from the Jamapo group and we’ve all played music together a couple times just in the first week,” Perone said. “The group brought all of the musicians on campus together; giving us many opportunities and friends that we might not have made on our own.”
Not only does the Jamapo group help provide first year students with the opportunity to make new friends right away, the group also provides a strong sense of unity through the organization of the campus’ music community.
Sophomore Alex Hoteck, 20, has made plenty of friends since enrolling in Ramapo College through Jamapo along with other various campus organizations, emphasizes on the importance of the group’s impact as an effective social media outlet.
“ Facebook groups like Jamapo help provide convenient connections to all of their members along with increase productivity within their community; as long as the members take action outside of the website,” Hoteck said.
Since there are many music organizations on campus, networking with students on the Jamapo page could encourage students to take action and get involved within the campus’ music community; either through joining the Ramapo Music Club, participating in open-mic-nights or even through creating their own music organization or assemble group. Even Barbosa said that returning students also play an huge role in being actively involved with the Jamapo page.
“I spoke with a few returning students like Hoteck as well as Pine Hall Residents Assistant, Danielle Corcione. Both of them had no problem answering any questions myself or the first-year-students had about the kind of opportunities for musicians on campus,” Barbosa said.
Currently there are 71 students who are listed as members according to Jamapo’s Facebook page. Not only do social media groups like Jamapo help build long-lasting relationships, it also provides organization from within that encourages members of the music community to unite and become active on campus; whether these members may be experienced musicians or they simply enjoy sharing facts about their interests in music.