Lost lanyards, misplaced water bottles and dropped student ID galore. These are just some of the things posted to the now-infamous University of Maryland “Our Campus” Snapchat stories.
The story was originally created in 2014, but has found a new level of popularity this year.
Misplaced items are only the start to the endless stream of posts. Many students take to the stories to express their frustrations about professors, dining hall food and living conditions.
Some specifically alarming posts about living conditions came from Hagerstown Hall.
Hagerstown residents have posted a multitude of grotesque images of the building over the course of the semester. Bugs in dorm rooms, mystery substances in the walkways and feces smeared on bathroom walls were just some of the things posted this semester.
“Hagerstown needs to calm down,” junior psychology major Josephine Hester, an avid viewer of the stories, said. “I am all for wild crazy things, but Hagerstown is a little too wild for me with some of the stuff that people post.”
This university’s Department of Resident Life said it follows up with students to offer support and seek assistance when they are made aware of concerning posts.
But the community stories maintain great importance despite the occasionally off-putting content. One of its most important attributes is the ability to reach a large audience in a short period of time.
“You hear about news very quickly through the Snapchat stories, which is helpful,” senior journalism major Kayla Blietz said.
Modern-day students are much more in-tune with social media than older forms of communication. If there’s a campus-wide announcement, it’s more likely to quickly spread among students on social media than other mediums.
The community stories have even helped create an on-campus Snapchat micro celebrity.
Some know him by his username @swiafe2022, but anyone who frequently views the class of 2025 story has seen Stephen Wiafe-Amoako’s posts.
Wiafe-Amoako, a junior bioengineering major, began posting long video stories of his reactions to sporting events. His friends teased him and urged him to stop his constant spamming, but he didn’t listen.
His dedication led to multiple instances of people recognizing him and asking to take pictures with him, which he welcomed. More than anything, Wiafe-Amoako hopes his videos spread positivity to the community.
“School is tough,” he said. “People are just stressing out and there’s so many things going on in the background, so 100 percent it’s always important to be nice,” he said.
The Snapchat stories are certainly not for everyone, but they do hold an important place in the university’s community. Any student who scrolls through is bound to learn something new, see something unusual or have a much-needed laugh.
“I definitely think that the good outweighs the bad,” Hester said.