By Jessica Bishop
Jaclyn Wright, a Trevecca freshman, was sitting in the cafeteria with her friends when all their phones lit up one by one.
The same Instagram notification appeared on each screen: “@ hotguysattrevecca has requested to follow you.”
One of the latest spoof social media accounts, @hotguysattrevecca runs submitted photos of “hot” guys at Trevecca for its 219 followers. The Insagram posted their first round of bachelors earlier last month before making a “farewell” post a few weeks later saying they’ve “run out” without further context.
David Paz, junior and accounting major, was the page’s first pick of now 27 gentlemen posted on the account.
“My friends and I were eating tenders in the hub, and I thought it would be fun. I started the account and asked them who the first post should be. David was their first pick and bam the account was born,” said the administrator of the @hotguysattrevecca account who responded via direct messaging to Instagram but would not give their name. “Little did I know it was on its way to many people confessing their [true] loves to me, or [people] just trying to be funny.”
Multiple social media accounts affiliated with Trevecca and run anonymously over the years have had varying levels of popularity. For a while, TNU Confessions on Instagram, Just Trevecca Things on Twitter, and Kevin Trevecca Rock on Facebook have been among the most popular.
The most memorable account to a couple of staff members is the TNU Chapel on twitter for its funny content.
“Trevecca obviously has a lot of rules, and I’m fine with them, but for some people, they have to show their creative side somehow and that’s the measure they went to be expressive,” said Grace Pulliam, a freshman who follows multiple TNU anonymous accounts.
The creativity behind these accounts creates a sense of community for the student body that allows them to have some fun, said Matt Toy, associate vice president of marketing and communication.
“Being fun is fun,” said Matt Spraker, associate dean of students for community life. “It’s a safe place to do that but we are also a community that cares for each other, so I think it’s important to be careful that knowing boundaries and knowing what can be harmful to individuals besides just being funny jokes.”
Marketing officials at Trevecca keep a close eye on the accounts to make sure they don’t harm the university’s brand or hurt other people, said Toy.
“Two things I care most about is— one is about protecting the Trevecca brand and so if there is something out there that is hurting our brand in some way we will look into it, or if it’s hurting other people,” he said.
Looking into the anonymous accounts sometimes results in finding the administrator(s) of the account.
“Usually though a lot of students know who the actual person is and if I find that out, I’ll call them in and have a brief discussion about the intent and how it may hurt people. Honestly, every time that has happened it has been effective, and the person has either closed the account or kind of changed or taken things off,” said Spraker.
Yet, a majority of the time, Trevecca students and staff find no issues with the accounts.
“Trevecca students are really great about it. That’s very rare. We’ve got a really great community,” said Toy. “Being creative is part of being in college and having fun and so if people can do it in a positive way, I’m all for it. The only thing that gives me pause is when people do it in a real negative, condescending way that is out to hurt someone.”