Facebook clubs add new facet
Thefacebook.com, once the hotbed of rampant procrastination and would-be stalkers, has evolved into an online community for everything as common as sports enthusiasts to more bizarre clubs celebrating mutual love of cheese.
With the explosion of the popularity of the site, many students agree that Syracuse University is a model community, with clubs ranging from hatred of the President to love of Brockway Dining Hall.
‘Sociologically, people like to come together with common interests.’ said Chris Hughes, co-founder and self-described ‘press guy’ of thefacebook.com in an email.
The most popular club, ‘Bring Back the Orangemen,’ boasts over 1330 members. Founded by Syracuse native and sophomore mechanical engineering major Brett Sauro, the club seeks to bring back the old name for Syracuse teams. In addition to allowing a viable outlet for the desire for change, the club actually has done work to make things happen.
‘We are trying to do good for the University,’ Sauro said. ‘We have sent a few e-mails to Chancellor Nancy Cantor and Nike.’
However, not all clubs on thefacebook.com have such pure intentions; many unify members through mutual hatred. The club ‘I Fucking Hate George Fucking Bush’ has over 608 members. A quick search under clubs for the word ‘hate’ yields over 50 clubs, including specific clubs that hate everything from chemistry to Ugg boots.
Despite the popularity of such pessimistic groups, there are even more that bond students with a common love or a sense of pride. Groups exist which praise musicians, TV shows, movies, dining halls and anything else which bonds Syracuse students. However, no club-related pride has more members than the Syracuse chapter of ‘I went to Public School … bitch,’ which was founded by sophomore computer engineering major Daniel Riti. When Riti first created the group, he invited a few friends, and the club erupted.
‘It just blew up; I had 70 to 80 people join in the first week.’ Riti said. The club now boasts over 1,000 members, with new students joining each day.
Despite such welcoming clubs, not every group is open to everyone; many oblige users to meet a specific set of requirements. Two examples include ’25 Hottest Guys at SU’ and its sister club ‘The Top 25 Hottest Girls at SU.’ The hottest girls club was created by Jason Fox, a sophomore biology major. Fox heard about a similar club at Penn State from his ex-girlfriend, and with the help of friend Scott Wheaton, a freshman in the School of Management, began to send out invitations to girls to join. Once the club had a solid base, the two started getting about 15 applications a week, Fox said. For the duo the application procedure is a very serious process, with such aspects as beauty, personality and sense of humor considered.
In contrast, the ‘hottest guys clubs’ judges its applicants solely on their looks. Kelsey Gnoinski, a freshman civil engineering major, founded the club because her friends didn’t think she would do it, she said. Her club receives up to three applications a day.
‘There are some repeat applicants that change their picture, thinking it will make the difference,’ Gnoinski said, stressing that the object of the club is not to be mean, but rather to have fun.
Many students agree that connections will always be made over certain things, especially in an environment with as varied an atmosphere as college. Whether students bond over politics, obsessions with obscure celebrities or international foreign pop stars, these groups exist and provide many with sense of belonging.
‘I think the groups feature is really popular because sociologically people like to come together around common interests,’ Hughes said. ‘At the end of the day, if you like Nirvana and there are other kids at your school who like Nirvana, why not open up a virtual space to communicate with one another and fraterniz
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