Social Media Showdown

By Darby Ratliff

Opinion Editor

Last year, the office of Student Life, particularly graduate student Meagan Allers ‘15, began to promulgate the idea of living a “#CanisiusLife,” incorporating a widespread social media push all over campus just in time for Welcome Week in the fall. It was on sunglasses, stadium cups, bro tanks, and, most importantly in the minds of many, stickers. Since then, #CanisiusLife has really taken hold through the efforts of Allers and her social media team, having its own Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Now, first year College Student Personnel Administration student Brandon Pietron ‘17 has taken over the social media team, and I’m interested in seeing what he’s got in store. His track record is already all A’s in my book as he’s responsible for the Thursdays in the Quad (i.e. my dinners and a show on Thursday nights).

However, even without Pietron continuing his predecessor’s efforts, #CanisiusLife has taken on a life of its own, used regularly by students on all forms of social media. Some of the tweets by students include thankful thoughts for pizza from senior Maria Ta, vibing with the Pope in Philly from Anne Continetti and an exuberant “THIS QUAD IS ON FIYAAAA #GoGriffs #CanisiusLife @PeteyGriffin” with a picture of the C-Block Bonfire from sophomore Andrea Kraft. The idea seems to have swept away the seldom used “#CanisiusMyHome” somewhat popular during the 2012-2013 school year.

On the other hand, students are unafraid of using the hashtag as a means of complaining about different services on campus, ranging from the wifi, the library, and Chartwells. It’s provided an interesting background for the positive tweets, posts, and pictures from Campus Ministry, the CanisiusLife social media team, and the College itself, among others. Students seem to have avoided tweeting at the actual account itself to complain, and that’s a trend I’d like to see continue.

The question is: what has made this idea stick with students and faculty members? Likely a degree of administrative pressure. Class of 2015 graduate Emma Carberry also pushed the idea as former Chair of the Student Programming Board, working closely with Allers to begin the slow (but needed) invasion of the #CanisiusLife. Student Life certainly did with its social media team, but a number of social media attempts have been made in order to mirror #CanisiusLife’s success. Yet, nothing could make those campaigns catch on quite as much as #CanisiusLife.

I would argue that its success lies in the fact that while Canisius isn’t known as a athletic school-spirit type of school, #CanisiusLife captures the more unique and subtle (sometimes) essence of our campus. I’ve been tagged enough times wobbling at different events demarcated #CanisiusLife and seen my Instagram feed turn into a set of pictures forming the sun as it sets. It gets across the idea that Canisius isn’t just a gold wave (or blockade) at games while categorizing a school spirit, bringing out the individualized nature of opportunities that Canisius offers.

I don’t think I can tell you what the quintessential Canisius life is. I also don’t think I can even really tell you what a Canisius life is outside my own. It’s a means of painting a picture– perhaps not even an authentic one. It’s characterizing our existences here and in Buffalo, sometimes combined with #Buffalove, one post at a time, and the best ones certainly are the most creative, including “You got any Griffbucks #collegeinfivewords #canisiuslife” and, for RHA’s annual finals event, “Give me a waffle and let me go to bed #MidnightBreakfast #Canisiuslife” from seniors Alex Valvo and Meg Cook respectively. There’s a personalization in these and in many of the posts, but there’s always the Canisius common thread.

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