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LVC Seniors to Present Research on Social Media in Latin America at Inquiry 2012
04.16.12 |

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Two Lebanon Valley College seniors say American citizens take for granted the freedoms they have to post and tweet openly on various social media platforms. Jesus Sandoval, a Spanish major at LVC, says that social media is heavily monitored in other countries. “In Mexico social media is controlled by the mobs,” explained Sandoval, “there have been killings over tweeting the wrong thing.”

As part of the Arnold Experiential Grant, Sandoval and Luisa Perez were able to present their research, “Of Tweets and Blogs: Is the Explosion of Social Media Helping or Hurting the Quality of Democracy in the Americas?” at the Mid Atlantic Latin American Studies Conference in Washington, D.C. this past March. The research was conducted with Dr. Diane Johnson, associate professor of political science.

In her research on Venezuela, Perez found that the country’s president, Hugo Chávez, has passed laws that prevent its citizens from using radio, newspapers, and television to speak negatively about the government. Perez explained that Chávez has trouble controlling social media, however. “He has his own Twitter account,” said Perez, “and he posts whatever pops into his head.” Sandoval and Perez will present more of their research at Inquiry 2012 on April 19.

Soon to graduate with a degree in Spanish, Sandoval said choosing to study Spanish was an easy choice. “It runs in the family,” he explained. Sandoval has two uncles who are Spanish professors, one of whom who lives in Mexico. Perez chose to study Spanish in order to learn more about the literature of her own culture. She plans to visit her family in the Dominican Republic on May 16 and Sandoval will visit his family in Mexico this summer.

Sandoval, Perez, and 103 other LVC students will present their research and scholastic achievements at Inquiry 2012 on Thursday, April 19 at 6 p.m. in the Arnold Sports Center. For additional information about the event, visit

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