Friends of the Herd: Accessible Resource Chat Box Available for Those Who Need It

Bex Law, Student Reporter

For students feeling lost, intimidated or confused, Marshall offers an online chat box called “Friends of the Herd” to provide direct assistance to anyone with a laptop.

Friends of the Herd launched in 2021 as a way to help students navigate any aspect of college life, from academic needs, account holds, registration issues, financial aid and more.

Friends of the Herd can be found by logging into MyMU. The chat box is found on the bottom right of the MyMU dashboard with the sign “contact us” beside a text bubble. 

“We have a list of resources, but often students just don’t know a service is available to them or where to find that information, so I will just go on Marshall’s website and find it for them,” Chloe Murphy-Williams, an employee of Friends of the Herd, said.

Friends of the Herd operates from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and is completely online. Those who experience phone anxiety or need an answer to a question outside of standard business hours can look to Friends of the Herd for assistance.

“The guidance is broad,” Murphy-Williams said. “Its purpose is so students across campus can access help through digital means.”

Murphy-Williams is a second semester practicum student currently living in Charleston. She said a personal benefit to working with Friends of the Herd is the ability to feel connected and helpful to students from a distance.

Although Friends of the Herd is meant to be operational in the evening, Murphy-Williams said if someone uses the chat box during the day, they can expect a response within 24 hours. Anyone with an email is eligible to use it, as Murphy-Williams stated they have received emails from students, parents and friends of students.

Friends of the Herd employees are prepared to refer people to access further assistance for academic issues, IT problems, mental health, extracurricular activity resources and advisor assistance.