Most colleges and universities today have some sort of social media platform for marketing and public relations purposes. However, those school-run social media accounts do not always know what is happening in the lives of students and what news the student body is interested in.
At California Baptist University, however, there are multiple social media accounts that help students in many ways. One account in particular is CBU Confessions (@cbu.confessions), a well-known account on campus that is run anonymously, with a current follower count of 2,825.
“I want to keep a safe space for the followers,” @cbu.confessions said. “If they don’t know who I am, they’re able to speak freely without worrying.”
While @cbu.confessions is not the first account to appear on students’ radars, it is quickly rising in popularity. @cbu.confessions said that the original “confessions” account inspired them, but they wanted to add their own spin to it.
@cbu.confessions highlights updates on campus activities, helps inform students of lost items found on campus and notifies the student body when car lights are left on, or when a student is selling old textbooks. The account also allows people to ask for advice or offer opinions anonymously and gives students a new way to make friends with people they may not typically encounter.
“A lot of students are not as involved in the school community for various reasons, and this is a way they can be involved without having to go out of their way and shirk their responsibilities,” @cbu.confessions said.
@cbu.confessions said the primary goal of the account is to help the student body in any way they can. Most students, especially commuters, do not get as many chances to be social, and with constant updates from @cbu.confessions on daily life, those students can become more involved.
“I have had many people thank me because they have met new friends or are able to find great work opportunities, amongst many things that this page has been able to offer them through these posts,” said @cbu.confessions.
Many students have become dependent on @cbu.confessions to give them insight into campus happenings that they might not know about. If the school releases an update, students rush over to @cbu.confessions to check if the gossip is true and to see what other students think about any changes.
“If I see something on campus that I do not know much about, I always check @cbu.confessions to see if anyone else has explained what’s going on,” said Kellie Murry, freshman elementary education major.
While running such a popular account may seem like an exciting venture, @cbu.confessions said it can also become taxing to be responsible for so many students’ information. Since so many people utilize @cbu.confessions and its reach, they often forget that the account is run by just one person, and they cannot always keep track of everything. Keeping track of many requests and messages from various students can become confusing.
“Personally, my biggest stressor is when the assumption is made that I can dedicate my whole day to the account,” @cbu.confessions said. “This last semester I had to mute my notifications more than once because I could not get peace and quiet to study for my finals.”
Not only does @cbu.confessions help students with minor issues, but it also gives students a voice that they might not have had before. If people have an opinion on a particular topic or want to advocate for a change on campus, they can rely on the account to popularize their message.
“It’s a great place to find out polls for voting and such,” said Jalen Wilson, senior English major. “When you want, for instance, the gym to reopen, you go to Confessions and tell them, and somehow it reaches CBU officials.”
Although the account has nearly 3,000 followers, @cbu.confessions said they do not feel like a celebrity on campus.
“The anonymity takes away the celebrity aspect of this account, but it’s a nice feeling when you hear people talk about the account you run,” @cbu.confessions said. “It just makes me feel like a helpful citizen.”
Many students view @cbu.confessions as a vital asset here on campus, and without it, many students may have remained lost or confused. @cbu.confessions strives to give students a voice.
“I’m very grateful for all the people who are a part of this account’s community,” @cbu.confessions said. “Without them, there wouldn’t be an account.”
Although they do not feel like a celebrity, @cbu.confessions said that the idea of becoming part of the legacy of CBU and an element of how students remember their time here is a special feeling.
“It’s heartwarming to know I might become a legacy,” @cbu.confessions said. “It’s been great to help a lot of the students here. It’s nice to look back and say, ‘I did that.’”