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Exploring Information Hotspots at HHS


Students look forward to the morning announcements every day as a marker for the end of the first period, an information source, and to simply brighten our days. For the past four years, Barney Smith and Erik Ghalib have brought joy to the announcements with their personal shoutouts, reminders, and Barney’s enthusiastic Pledge of Allegiance. The announcements are jam-packed with useful reminders of college visits, club meeting times, and messages to incite school spirit, like that of ice cream party winners. The announcements are great, but do Hastings High School students actually rely on the announcements for their information, or do they get it elsewhere?

Word of mouth is the most popular information source, as most of student interviewees cited their friends as their source. As technology has changed over the past few decades, information sources have changed as well. Now, not only is word of mouth an effective way to learn information, but so is the “HHS Updates” Instagram profile.

The HHS Updates Instagram features posts reminding students of events, hilarious videos of teachers getting pied at Homecoming, spirit week outfit pictures, and much more. The account is more active this year, and it promotes other HHS accounts, like for clubs and sports. 

The Student Union (SU) Instagram is also a helpful source of information. However, Instagram isn’t a resource available for every student, so other sources of information are more crucial to the student body. Sometimes students miss out on events because somehow the many reminders didn’t reach them, or they did not  check for details. For example, fliers are easy to pass over in the hallways. 

This may be why when a poll was conducted, only 14.3% of students said that they found fliers helpful. In order to most effectively convey information, fliers should be more colorful and informative. On the contrary, 57.1% of students said they found gossip the most helpful, and 28.6% said that the morning announcements were most effective. According to Barney, the SU President, he and Erik condense a long list of information every morning when crafting the announcements and anything they didn’t get to say goes up in the office. One reason why a minority of polled students prefer the announcements is that they can be difficult to hear.

When interviewing students, many said that they only find the information in the announcements useful when they can hear them. This may be because the PA system is not perfect, because people talk over the announcements, or maybe it’s because, according the the Guttmacher Institute, the teen hearing loss rate has risen from 14.9% to 20% since 1995. Whichever way, while the announcements have a lot of  important information, students also utilize other sources, most commonly gossip among the student body and the HHS Updates Instagram.

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