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Panjab University polls: Social media the best bet for student bodies

Two online portals, PU Pulse and PU Mirror, both with their own Facebook pages and YouTube channels, are attracting viewers by the day, with 38,000 and 30,000 likes, respectively.

punjab Updated: Aug 18, 2018 11:23 IST
Arshdeep Arshi
Arshdeep Arshi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Panjab University polls,Panjab University,Social media
(Representative image )

With Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) elections likely to be held in the first week of September, there’s a proliferation of student groups gearing up for the litmus test. But before on-ground campaigning starts in right earnest, most student bodies are turning to social media to lure voters.

Two online portals, PU Pulse and PU Mirror, both with their own Facebook pages and YouTube channels, are attracting viewers by the day, with 38,000 and 30,000 likes, respectively.

For youngsters, information download happens via mobile phones. “Every video on the pages is watched by

20,000 to 25,000 people, which helps as we cannot talk to each and every PU student given the limited time period,” says Vicky Middukhera, a senior leader of the Students Organisation of India (SOI).

Commenting on trends, he says, students do not read print media as much as they read Facebook posts and the pages provide student parties a platform to reach out to their vote base.

‘Authentic info’

Senior National Students Union of India (NSUI) leader Manoj Lubana agrees, adding, “Social media is definitely an important way to reach students and these portals provide authentic information on what is happening on the campus.”

However, he does not think such activities influence election outcomes.

Vitthal Bhardwaj who started PU Mirror in 2015 after reading Facebook posts of U Campus Harvard University, says, “I felt that there should be a platform for students here too as their voices are not heard. PU Mirror is completely non-commercial and is for the students by the students.”

The average reach of the page is around two lakh people, which nearly doubles during the PU student polls, Bhardwaj claims. “It definitely impacts the student mindset as it is hyper-local and anything that happens on campus finds a voice here,” he says.

Gurvinder Kaur, who manages PU Pulse, too, says the number of hits on their pages go up during elections. “It is a powerful tool for students where they find objective reporting of everyday issues on campus,” she adds.

The page administrators too ensure the students are regularly updated on campus news. “During the elections, we start news flashes which the students follow and share right away. All the student parties find equal representation on PU Pulse as it is mostly during the elections that they get a chance to reach out to the maximum number of students.”

First Published: Aug 18, 2018 11:19 IST