Over the past few years Facebook groups made by incoming students have been a popular way to communicate and connect with the Knox community months before arriving on campus.
However, as students begin to advertise themselves to other members, beneficial aspects of the group are overshadowed upon their arrival on campus.
“I really got to learn a lot about my future classmates prior to coming to Knox,” said Corey Tatz said. Tatz is a freshman and the creator of the “Knox College Class of 2016” Facebook group. “We posted helpful info regarding course selections [and] requirements, and it really let me form some close bonds with some people.”
Although an Office of Admission-run Facebook group was already in place, Tatz desired a page that was more user-friendly for members to communicate with each other.
“I wanted a private group where incoming freshmen could discuss any topic without having the administration read it,” Tatz explained. “I also got the idea when someone posted in the group a couple months prior that we should have a student-run group.”
After advertising the new group on the official page, the group’s members quickly grew as incoming freshmen and upperclassmen began to share their questions and advice.
“It was out of boredom at first, a summer thing,” freshman Casey Mendoza said.
Having joined a week or two after the group’s creation, she explained that the page was used initially to post about themselves. However, members eventually began to clique together and engage in long posts and conversations.
“It’s kind of awkward when I see people on campus now,” Mendoza said. “There was some sort of connection at first, and I got to know some faces I see on campus, but again it’s just awkward now.”
Although the group was exclusively made for the class of 2016, many upperclassmen are members as well.
“I wanted to make sure [Knox] is a place where they can be welcome and so they will feel comfortable and welcome well before orientation week and all the Cindy Wickliffe emails,” junior Jordyn Stewart said. “It was really cool to make connections with students. I even helped one freshman with their audition monologue.”
Although Stewart did not frequently use her own class freshman group, she remembers feeling weird when she saw faces on campus she recognized from Facebook.
“The group was a great resource for many, but did screw me over in the end. People at Knox pre-judged me before actually trying to get to know the real Corey,” Tatz said.
Junior Allison Diamond also remembers her year’s freshman group.
“[The use of new student groups] has changed since ours,” Diamond said. “Ours didn’t seem like there was much conflict or cliques. Maybe a moderator or admin for the group would be beneficial.”